|WE ARE FAMILY|
Life over here…hmmm..let me think. Apart from the -30˚C or even sometimes -40˚C temperature in the winter soaring up to even a +40˚C in the summer and also apart from missing your families, life is quite nice over here.
The first time we set foot over here we were rather surprised by some things like for example, female bus drivers and conductors, but in time, they become normal day to day scenarios. And for us, who are miles away from home, our group mates are like a family away from home. Thanks to them, we made it through the good and bad and are still standing strong. And believe me I have the craziest group mates ever. We are 10 all in all and 6 of us are Sri Lankans, then we have two Nigerians, one Malaysian and a Brazilian girl.
|HANDS FROM MANY LANDS|
I remember the first time we saw the snow fall. We were in the anatomy department and when we looked out of the window it was snowing! We all screamed and dropped what we were doing and ran outside. And then , we were screaming and dancing around and it was so nice even though the snow fall that day didn’t last for more than 5 minutes. Nevertheless, by now most of the others are sick of snow, but believe me, I and a few of my friends still love it as much as then (well, apart from the times we almost get frost bitten, that is). And by now, we are almost used to seeing unsmiling faces on the road, as if these Russians’ facial muscles don’t work at all. But, anyway, it is okay as even if they don’t smile because on the other hand, they don’t poke their noses into other’s businesses, either.
And while talking about unforgettable incidents two major events come to my mind; one is regarding Godwin and the other Yris.
Godwin. Well he is Nigerian and you could call him an average Nigerian guy, but well, I guess he goes a bit beyond that with all his native costumes and all (including bull’s tails and walking sticks and very, very strange hats). Some months ago we (I and Godwin) had a dispute and then some yelling for an issue neither of us remember now but what is important is how we all got back together being good buddies. This was what he posted on my wall on face book on my b’day:
I once had an issue with Hiruni . Today at her birthday party this was what came to my mind which I wish to share with all my friends on the facebook.
“The last plane crash recorded in the world was on the 8th of this month and it involved a newly manufactured Russian plane. All 45 people on board Sukhoi Superjet died after it crashed into Indonesian volcano during flight to impress buyers.
Now imagine the last moments the passengers had while in the plane when it was announced it would crash. While crashing, there was turmoil and all passengers were being thrown here and there.
There was no time to notice when one passenger stepped on another.
There was no time to fight for their luggage.
There was no time to fight for degrees and qualifications.
There was no time for competition, segregation and enmity.
It was a moment to make peace and prepare to meet their creator.
This life is like that plane. And we are like those passengers.
None of us will leave this world alive.
One hundred years ago neither we nor our parents were on earth and 100 years from now it will be same, as it was 100 years ago. We will not be here again.
There is no time therefore to fight over race, face, place and position.
There is no time to destroy others while struggling for our own survival.
There is no time for religious and ethnic wars.
No time for gossips, backbiting and jealousy.
No time for character assassinations.
Knowing that our plane of life will soon crash, let us come together as one leaving behind our differences so that when this life is over, those we left behind will have a course to rejoice that we lived well and while they may be crying that we are gone, we will be smiling to meet our creator knowing we have fought the good fight of faith, love, togetherness, unity and ecumenism.”
And this was what brought our group back to what it was. It was all of our family away from home so a dispute just ruins everything for all of us and I am glad that we all are best buddies ever. And, as crazy as ever. The craziness doesn’t stop there.
|NO TIME FOR DIFFERENCES!|
The other day, Godwin and our fellow Nigerian group mate Chuks left for home. And, around 11.00 pm, Godda (Let’s call him that from now on) came to chat and told me that Chuks was missing. I quickly asked him to come on Skype (through the Moscow airport WiFi] and asked what happened . Before he came on Skype I got to know that (when he chatted on face book) that Chuks had left to buy something around 3.00 pm. And it was 11.00 pm then and still he hasn’t turned up. To make the matters worse, Chuck’s passport was with Godda and Godda’s registration was with Chuks. I was really worried. I told him to inform the airport authorities so that they can make an announcement over PA. It wasn’t practicable as Chuks was not in the airport and so not in range. He had got into a train and gone to the city, leaving Godda at the airport.
Then, when Godda came on Skype I got to know the details . He said that when they arrived at the airport, Chuks has said that he wanted to buy some pen drives to take home and got into a train and gone . And after 8 hours he still hadn’t returned and we were worried that he was hit by some drunk Russians, or lost, or even in jail because he had no document to show for himself . And, I asked Godda why he doesn’t call him, to see he has left his phone also with Godda. And anyway their phones don’t work he said but I don’t know why.
Somehow their check in was at 3.00 am and even by 11.20 pm he wasn’t back. . And, if they miss the flight they have to buy the ticket again and to avoid that I was going to ask Godda to wait till about 2.00 am and then go and cancel the ticket himself because then they have to pay only a little extra and don’t have to buy the ticket again. It wasn’t possible for Godda to check in and board the aircraft anyway because his registration was with Chuks.
Then around 12.20 am Godda said Chucks was back and he(Godda) was eating a chicken Chuck had brought . I yelled at Chuks first and asked where on earth he had been all this time. He said meekly he has gone to see the city and I asked why the hell he couldn’t buy the pen drives in Kursk then he said they were cheaper in Moscow. So, after some more scoldings I said good bye to Chuks and Godda.
See what a pair they made? Like Thompson and Thomson in Tintin.
Our whole group is like that.
|The Good Times We Have...|
But I know one thing for sure, that is one day when we finish our work here and leave we will miss each other a lot. And we make life in a strange land away from our families easier for each other. And also sometimes we need each other to avoid ourselves from punching some fellows in the face. This is something like that.
Yris: The other day we were coming back from the hospital on a bus and I and one of my fellow Sri Lankan girls were sitting at the back. And the Brazilian girl Yris was sitting in front of us and the seat next to her was empty. And then, an obese lady came and sat beside Yris who was on a call. After some time we heard the lady shouting aloud in Russian and we turned our antennas to that side. Then we heard her telling at Yris not to speak on the phone in the bus (See the nerve). She said that it irritates her and to turn the phone off. And she wasn’t very quite either in telling that. The whole bus was watching the incident by now. She was also saying that if she wants to talk on phone she had to get off the bus and take a taxi. By this time my blood was boiling. And on top of that she was nudging Yris. And the amazing thing was amidst all the uproar centered on her, Yris didn’t bother to pay any attention to the lady, and just went on talking on the phone calmly.
Then to every one’s surprise and humor this lady took out her phone and was trying to call people on her phone book but unfortunately no one answered. And finally when someone answered, I guess that person didn’t have the time to be wasting, so all she got to say was “ Sdrasthithe, vciyo harasho? Dasvidaniya” which means, “Hello, is everything ok? Bye”. And everyone in the bus started laughing. And I must mention that some other people in the bus asked her what her problem was when she was yelling at the girl. And when it was Yris’s stop she never gave her room and when Yris pushed past her she just smacked her on the butt. Can you believe these people’s behavior? And, all this while all I wanted to do was go and confront that lady but my good friend next to me was stopping me.
So, these are just two stories out of the many many incidents we have faced. And to say all I will have to write on forever. But what matters is that we have our own faults and misunderstandings but we all stick together in the end. No matter what. And right now they are in their own countries or traveling the world. And I want to tell you guys that no matter what, you are the best group mates ever… the perfect combination of different personalities.
A STORY WRITTEN BY HIRUNI, MY DAUGHTER.