I can't tell you how many times on the trip I would say to Rich, "If we just had a translator here, I would ask Alexander, just WHAT were you TALKING about for the last month?? It was seriously like a very long continuation of the game Charades. Everyday. Some of the questions on the top of my list would go like this:
1) Did your grandfather REALLY shoot an Apache Indian with a bow and arrow????
2) Did you REALLY mean to say you didn't get much sleep last night because when you got home your wife Larissa was in "feathers"??? hmmm...
3) Did you and Larissa REALLY meet on a ship far off in the ocean?? Romantic, but I doubt it..
4) Did you REALLY mean to ask Rich, " Did you meet a wonderful woman yet in Ukraine" we all laughed and shook our heads and I told him to repeat the question. But when he repeated it it was the same... Rich glanced nervously back at me and said "yah, THAT one, and he pointed at me"
5) Did Rambo in the country REALLY try to sell us a sculpture his grandfather carved? For one hundred Grivna? By the way, I think I saw Made in China on the bottom! Ha.
6) Is Nickola, Rambo's quiet, unassuming, possibly special needs neighbor, REALLY an expert in Jin Jitzu and Karate?? And he speaks fluent French? (well, I have to say, he DID bow over my hand and kiss it and say "Madame" when he left....)
and last but not least....
7) Are you REALLY a Communist??