course my children are going to grow up speaking German!” I don’t remember how
often I spoke words to that effect to friends and family I left behind in
Germany when I moved to the U.S. for college. That move marked the second time
I had left my home country, as I had already spent my middle school years in
America, and uttering these words seemed to reassure those left behind that my
native language would remain a part of me – at least theoretically.
Most visitors to Russia - and even those who have never been there - are familiar with at least two traditional Russian handcrafted items. The first and most widely recognized are the stacking wooden matrushka dolls. The second are the lacquered papier-mâché boxes.
[”The Morning of the Streltsy Execution,” lacquer plaque detail with mother of pearl. Original oil by Vasily Surikov, Tretyakov Gallery Moscow]
The longest I had with a good friend in our current posting was nine months. That was long enough to feel comfortable going up to her apartment when I got mad at my husband. It was long enough for her to tell me she was pregnant before she told any other friends. It was long enough to be able to share a private joke in the company of others, just the two of us laughing.