The presentations were actually pretty interesting. I was slightly distracted by the Pierce Brosnan look-alike at the table to my right, the vigorous nodder to the diagonal, and the loud itch-scratcher to my left. I learned that Russians are not necessarily punctual people, which shook my beliefs to the core and make me question Papa T's teachings. I learned that business in Russia is all about building relationships, and business is not just business, it's personal. I learned that having a business there can be a roller coaster ride since economic conditions can change so drastically and so quickly.
This event reminded me of an awkward Russian encounter I was going to willingly subject myself to. Back in Dublin, in my boredom and/or lonely periods, I planned and thought about all of the things I would do and accomplish once back in DC -- a list of museum exhibits (mostly all viewed), books clubs (plans in motion to have reinstated), and Russian conversation club (WHAT?!). I found this club that meets once a week at Brickskeller to practice speaking Russian. I imagine a small group of dorky Americans, who maybe took a language class or two in college or who are Russian literature or history enthusiasts, drinking beer and attempting to conjugate a verb and doing so incorrectly, maybe with one or two native Russian dorks peppered in around the table. I thought, well heck, I am not so good at kickball, but when it comes to speaking Russian, I am like a professional! I will totally be the star of Russian conversation club. I mean, I can speak Russian, English, AND English with a Russian accent, dare I try Russian with an English accent.
Basically I have not yet had the time or the cojones to make it out to Wednesday night Russian speaking club, but believe you me that you will hear about it when I do, because can you imagine the hilarity of that business luncheon, only the entire thing is in Russian, everyone is drinking beer, and I am not confined to "acting professional"?