When I arrived in Izhevsk I was assigned five great ladies as translators, working in shifts. As it turned out I mostly had five escorts everywhere I went. The first-day one asked "Barbara would you like a snake" to which I replied, "well not today thank you." The next day she said, "Barbara we must go and have a snake" and I replied, "maybe tomorrow". When tomorrow arrived and the same question arose, I thought "well I will have to get this over" so I said "yes". "What kind of snake would you like?" "A very small one I replied" at which point they took me to a pancake house for, yes you've guessed it, A SNACK. So many nuances in the English language there are bound to be communication problems at times, although after this I tried to look behind the words as they were spoken.

By Popular Demand = Ha - I will post odd memories about past adventures on this site from time to time, as I am a bit slow in getting many of my trips into my past adventures. Yesterday Toronto had its first major snowfall, somewhat early for us. It reminded me of being in Ishevk, Russa. My hotel was typical Russian style with an old rumbling fridge and very little closet or drawer space. I chose to stack my sweaters and undies on the very wide window cill inside the room of course. When I woke the next morning everything was frozen stiff, even the red suede jacket to my suit. As I was a guest lecturer at the university and was "on stage" at ten a.m. I was in a panic. In the end, I got back into bed clutching a sweater and a blouse and cuddled them until they were unfrozen and the bedding was all wet. The hotel was also the winter home to the Moscow circus. I discovered this when I walked down a back hallway and became overcome with a terrible stench. Yes, the animals lived in the hotel rooms with the staff of the circus. One time I was invited into the elevator with a bunch of Poole dogs and they did tricks all the way down to the ground floor! Life was always an adventure in this rather remote part of Russia. Actually, it was a numbered city for many years and no one was allowed in or out. Even when I was there a blonde Canadian stood out like a sore thumb and it was not unusual for teenagers to approach and ask if they could practice their English with me. Tomorrow I will tell you about eating snakes!

In the lobby of the university 

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