Russian After a Night Out


Yesterday, I left the office record early (I am trying to prove to myself that I am not a workaholic and that I only work a lot when I actually have to) and was looking forward to a quiet night at home with a book (“Mig äger ingen” by Åsa Lindeborg). However, the chapters that I was reading were sad to the point that tears started falling from my eyes and so when an acquaintance of mine called and told me that she had had a disastrous day and wondered if I wanted to come out and grab a bite, I decided that it was probably a good idea to get away from that book for a while.


It ended up being an early, tea evening on one of Chisinau’s nicest terraces, and so I got back well before midnight to both my book and my bed. As I was supposed to attend the conference on investigative journalism to combat corruption this morning, which didn’t start until 9:30, I was looking forward to sleep in a bit longer.


Five minutes after I had gotten home, I heard three men having a smoke and discussing loudly in Russian outside my house. After they had finished their cigarettes, they went inside to one of my neighbors’. The houses are fairly old and the walls are like paper. After a bit of remodeling during the Soviet Union, we now live three families in a building that I think initially was intended for one family, which means that our front doors are only a few meters apart.


Around 04:00 am, I woke up again, this time by these men being on their way home. They were extremely drunk and took several detours, banging on people’s doors, shouting and arguing. It felt like forever before they left. When I was lying there in bed, listening to them outside, I was mostly mad about the fact that I was SO close to getting eight hours of sleep. But I also realized that there are few languages that make people sound as drunk as when they speak Russian after a few drinks. Or is it just that Russian rarely have just a few drinks when they go out?

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