Conversational English and a Cup of Coffee…

This is definitely a better day than I had yesterday. The coffee is really good and makes writing this article a joy. So lets jot down some of what I am thinking this morning with a great cup of coffee…

Boza and I took a long walk this morning. We passed by a group of guys playing chess under the trees in the shade. There was about 9 of them all together. As Boza and I passed I heard the term Americana or something similar like that. I stopped and looked over at them and they were all looking at me…

The first thing that went through my mind was, “Oh Oh” and even though I was the opposite direction from my rage explosion a couple of days ago. It crossed my mind that I might be in trouble. Then they all smiled and waved me over. Boza and I walked near and one of them asked in his best English, “Are you American?” After an affirmative from me they all got excited and proceeded to tell each other, “See I told you so – type talking’s!”…

(I am amazed at how many people know that I am American and they have never seen me before. They just have heard that I live here somewhere. They most likely heard me talking to Boza and put two and two together. Boza is a bilingual dog who is fluent in both English and Russian…)

Now as on the train and many other places that I find Russians or Ukrainians for that fact, that want to communicate. They want to talk in English. It is strange because they always want to know if their English is any good and can I understand them as they talk to me. As the conversation progresses their English becomes better and better. This is due to the fact that almost everyone in Russia has many years of English taught to them in grade-school era and up. They have all the basics of English but have never used it…

So I find that Russians leap at the chance to show that they can speak English and in this instance I had nine guys who tried to out do the others with their English skills. Out of the nine, three spoke very good English, four spoke some and two literally none. This is a common ratio and hold true in most cases. I hate to be mean to Russians but I find Ukrainians have a better understanding of English than Russians…

The conversation centered around, What am I doing in a place like this?  to, Do I play chess? One of the biggest questions that is asked to me over the years is about guns. Do Americans really all own guns? Are Americans gun crazy? 🙂 I always say, “No not everyone owns guns but the ones that do have enough guns and ammo for everyone to have a gun if it is needed. So you don’t want to invade America” The response is always something like, “wow!” and a shake of the head. Then this time they asked me did I own guns and always truthful as the best policy. I responded yes and at one time I had 76 weapons…

Now if that isn’t a conversation stirrer nothing is…

Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia!


kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

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