Where is the lavatory? How much does that cost? Why is that bearded fellow with the sickle following me? If you take a trip to Russia, chances are you will ask all these questions and more during your stay in the Land of Laughter. Whats that you say? Mother Russia
A sense of humor? Not so! Oh, but its true.
Like a shiny new set of Babushka Eggs on Christmas morning, a light shines softly from the wintry darkness of our Eastern neighbor. Wouldnt you know that nothing cultivates a sense of sparkling humor like years of fierce, totalitarian government oppression? After all, it worked for Walt Disney. Right?
Why, even Ivan the Terrible was known to crack a joke now and then. But please, dont ask him about the cabbages. He just goes on and on, and then theres something about Comrade Peter with his yak – but the two peasant women – and then Grechka! See, now Ive vexed myself. But no matter. There is a wealth of humor still ahead. If youre still skeptical perhaps I can convince you with a few classic jokes from the Motherland.
Take, for example, this timeless classic from that non-stop, post-communist comedy machine, Romania What is colder in a Romanian winter than cold water? Hot water!
I think I missed something. Can we try that again? Nice and slow this time. What is colder in a Romanian winter than cold water?…wait
.Hot water! No. Still not funny and now my head hurts.
Perhaps we should try another? This time from that bastion of comedic freedom, Hungary. Why is the price of lard not going up in Hungary? So that the workers can have lard on bread for their Sunday lunch. Alright, I give up. Obviously theres a rift in
translation here. There must be. If only there was a book that could save us! cry our Capitalist funny bones. Fear not Comrades.
I present to you, this weeks book Russian in 10 Minutes a Day. In no time at all, we shall be conversing freely, telling jokes with such mastery that even old Ivan himself would blush. For surely, any language with 15 words for pickle is worth knowing in my book. Until next time, ??? ????????!
Don’t delay! Start today! Careful though. In some parts of Russia, this is used as a highly effective pick-up line.