When I’m at the local vegetable market the other day, a Chinese guy in his 40s says: “Zdravstvuyte!”
Me: “Sorry, I don’t understand.”
“Zdravstvuyte! Do you speak Russian?”
“I don’t. I’m not Russian.”
“Zdravstvuyte! Kak dela?”
“Maybe if you tried Northeastern Chinese dialect on me, I’d be able to understand more?!”
Sometimes you only need a Western-looking face to practice your foreign (Russian) language skills, no matter if the person understands you or not. Thanks to being greeted a lot in Russian these days, I’m now able to understand “Hello, how are you?” in Russian. Maybe next time I will greet back in Russian and see where the conversation leads.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? I’d love to read your stories.