Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Antidote for Forgetfulness

*Today's ILP anecdote comes from Kaitlin, who is in Kyiv, Ukraine as we speak! This story comes from her thoroughly enjoyable blog. Thanks Kait!*

My host parents left a few weeks ago to spend a week in Israel (those lucky dogs). Whilst being gone, their "babuskha" came to stay and take care of things (aka cook heavenly meals all the time-- the JOY). This fantastic woman and I bonded very quickly, which was awesome considering she didn't speak ANY English at all whatsoever, and whenever she tried to tell me something I never had a clue what she was saying.

(Oh, and for the record, it's pronounced BAH-booshka, not ba-BOO-shka. Yeah, I learned that one after saying it wrong and having 3 Ukrainians laugh hysterically for literally about 10 minutes. Good times.)

So, this event transpired on Friday. There I am, having a normal Friday morning... You know, frantically writing up the last of all of my lesson plans for the next week so I can turn them in to my head teacher. The usual.

I finish them and get all my gear on in a hurry so I can go catch a mashrutka and not be late for Training. So I say paka (goodbye) to BAHbushka and leave out the door-- Pakapaka!-- and begin to lock the little gate. I then realize that my entire notebook full of all of my lesson plans since the dawn of time is still inside the flat, sitting on the kitchen table. Whoops. So, I quickly unlock the door and run back in to grab it.

As I am about to leave, Babushka shows up looking frazzled. She grabs my arm, shoves me in front of a mirror, and quickly proceeds to babble at me in Russian (or maybe it was Ukrainian?!) anyway, I had NO IDEA what she was saying! Is she telling me I need to get a warmer coat? I look bad? I look good? I need to fix my hair? Something embarrassing is stuck on my face? Nah, that can't be it....

This continued on for at least 2 minutes. After a few more moments, she seemed satisfied. She straightened up, smiled, and--Paka!-- sent me on my merry way. Ha. Okay, that was weird.

Well... about 30 seconds out the door I finally realized it! Of course! Ukrainians are superstitions about forgetting things! If you must run back inside to retrieve something you forgot, you must look at yourself in the mirror before venturing out again, otherwise you'lll be plagued with bad luck.

Thank goodness my Babuskha was looking out for me! It pretty much made my day. So, next time you forget something, remember to look in the mirror first. It'll save you a lot of grief. Trust me.

Here's is a picture for all of you who actually read this and were those little kids who never wanted to read a book unless there were pictures in it...

Irresistible, no?


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