I am sitting at this Internet cafe with Veeka on my lap; me cramming pieces of bread in her mouth to keep her from shrieking and disturbing everyone. Folks here let you know if they disapprove of things. If they think your kid is not dressed well enough for the weather, they shake their finger at you and say, “Oy, oy, oy.” (shame, shame, shame).
Anyway, the night before last, Veeka was bouncing against the walls. I had JUST gotten her down at 11:45 p.m. (!) when I heard a KASPLOOSH. It seemed to be coming from the bathroom so I dashed in to find the water pipe had broken and water was flooding my bathroom. Fortunately the bathroom is about 2 inches below the rest of the hotel room, but I knew the water would rise quickly. I picked up the phone but noone was at the front desk. I grabbed my Berlitz phrase book but there was no line saying, “Some pipe has burst and we will drown soon if you don’t do something.” Grabbing Veeka and throwing on my bathrobe, I ran down four flights barefoot to the guard on the ground floor. Pinting upstairs, I yelled “Problem!!” pronouncing it like they do in Russian: “problame.”
Anyway, I must have looked like a wild banshee for the guard raced after me 4 flights back up to the rapidly rising waters. He got on his walkie-talkie and frantically called someone and figured out which faucet to turn off. “Zaftra,” I said to him as he left, which means “tomorrow.”
Sure enough, 2 plummers showed up at my door yesterday morning at 9. Other than that, I went out to lunch with a Kazak friend, met another visiting friend from New Zealand who is in town and hosted 2 other people (Aida and Madina) who dropped by just when I was trying to put Veeka down. Of course she didn’t mind; anything that delays her bedtime is fine with her.
Am closing photos of her sleeping and her in her carriage all bundled up for a walk in the park. Notice the snow and the birch trees. Does this look like a Russian novel?