|Me being a foreigner at the monastery in Yaroslavl, Russia|
I’m done thinking about the word but every time I hear someone say it I automatically get this scenario in my head. [Insert a Russian person addressing everyone on a bus] “PEOPLE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION! Becareful, there are non-Russian speakers among us. We don’t know what they’re capable of since we don’t understand them. The boy might possibly have a bomb, we heard him mimic the sound of an explosion going off. Please, exit the bus or walk quickly away from them. We’ll try to negotiate with them, this is not a drill!” So I just end up laughing because only my imagination could come with things like that. But, once in Moscow on the line of a Burger King, I talked in English and two guys in front of me looked back with such wide eyes that I thought they were capable of making this scenario happen in real life.
Being a foreigner, I also wonder what people think of me every time I walk by. I wonder if they write me of as an American or come up with outrageous assumptions like the lady at a kiosk. I was by my apartment and I stopped to buy a Snickers since dinner wasn’t for the next two hours. So I asked in Russian for a Snickers and this is the conversation that took place in Russian, mind you nothing to deal with Snickers or candy: Lady: Are you an Arab? Me: Me? No, why? Lady: No, well you just look like you could be. Where are you from? Me: I live in the United States, but I’m Puerto Rican, my family is from Puerto Rico. Lady: Oh! You’re such a handsome young man. Me: Thanks (As I pay from my snickers, grab my change and walk away).
I have no idea where the idea of being an Arab came from, being that I am no where near the color of an middle eastern especially being in Russia these last few months. Just as funny, my host mother has given compliments about my hair and how I have such nice, straight, dark hair and once she asked, “It comes from your people right?” but I wonder if she knows who my ‘people’ are, she’s know I’m Puerto Rican but its interesting to see how people think and what they see.
Enough about being a foreigner, we’ll see if I crack one day lol!