The Trip to the Big Village…

coffee of lifeYesterday I was off to the big village and along for the ride was an 80 plus year old man, who was going to get supplies cheaper, than we can get locally at the avto market. It saved him at least 500 rubles and to a pensioner that is a bunch of money. It was a morning exactly like son taking dad to the store and since this man would be the same age as my dad would be if he had lived; It was nostalgic to say the least…

Realization came to me that my dad would be 84 right now if still alive. I believe that Nicolai is 83 and thus the comparison. My dad died at 50 years old, thus my brain kept telling me grandpa, instead of dad, as I talked and interacted with Nicolai. It just mentally could not be helped, for I had two grandfathers who lived to 80 plus, but a dad, who did not. I guess it was natural, but Nicolai could be my dad…

Nicolai taught me things yesterday, I learned that the fields are full of хлеб grain (bread grain and a special short type,) I learned about the monastery we live at and the monastery in the church village, I learned about the lakes that the fish are in around us and most of all I learned that listening to an old person is a wealth of information, that never should be passed up…

I taught him something and the joy was carried all the way to his arm; Russians do not wave, unless I am around. I may not smile, but I acknowledge that you are around by nodding and waving to you as I drive by. It is an old farmer tradition and I can not help it out in the country. I wave to the guys working the fish farm and have been doing it to the point that they all wave first at times. The first wave had Nikolai stunned, then as he saw everyone wave back and even smile at us at times (something Russians and I do very little of.) He started to wave and before I knew it, he waved all the way to the Big Village. He smiled like a little kid seeing a piece of candy in the store window. Nikolia waved to beat the band and we were just waving fools as we went to town. Now that was something to see… 😉

Why do we pass such information up all the time? Why do we allow them to rot in homes for the elderly?

Russians 90+ % of the time care for their elderly at home and respect them. Not always, for there is bad apples everywhere, but the elderly are revered in Russia most of the time…

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Nicolai and I tried the market of babushkas first. He got in arguments with them all, for in his eyes they were charging a price way to high; and they were in my eyes also. I stayed silent and let him argue. We left and he grumbled about rip off babushkas… 🙂

Then we went to the big store called Magnet and he was happy as a pig in a mud waller. He shopped for over an hour and during that time, I shopped, moved the car and came back to push his cart basket around, like a good kid would do. We filled a basket up with produce, canned goods, cheeses and dairy products. He had a list and he checked it twice and then a third time. Yes, he had all that he was told to get…

We left happy, fat and sassy…

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Then on the way home he told me about his family, his life and he forgot I have weak Russian and am an American. I did not even hint at the flow of words were coming to fast for me to decipher and I let him talk, for you could see it made him happy. We got to the fish village and passed through to the lakes. As we came upon a spot where the workers were pulling fish to sell, he got all excited and wanted to stop to get some fish. I gave one of my buddies a hundred rubles, without Nicolai knowing it. They told him to grab two of the biggest fish he could find in the net and Nicolai had so much fun chasing, that I swear he looked like a kid again. He tried to pay, but they said, “Net!” and Nicolai looked at me kinda funny. My fish buddy and actually one of the managers, motioned for me to grab one and with that, Nicolai and I went on our way with our prizes…

So you know, a fish is called, “рыба” Reba in Russia. Fish from these ponds is a prize worth crowing about…

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We got home with our bounty from our trip and later after the day had cooled somewhat; for it was super hot. Nicolai came over and thanked me profusely for taking him to the Big Village. I could tell he had had a blast and I will see if he wants to go every week with me. It saves them a bunch of money and I go anyway. Why not give him a chance to chatter and teach me new things?

Strange how in the village, I have brothers my age such as Vova and if we accept such things, I have a dad in the village such as Nicolai and friends of all ages, who are just plain good people…

No need to wonder why I love the village and never a reason to question why I love Russia. For I have found the home for my soul…

Post by Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…


kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

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