Anecdote 2: I’m crying 420 roubles

Today provided another painful reminder of the pitfalls of the Russian accent. Whilst in a cafe, paying for my delicious (and vegetable orientated – shock horror!) lunch, I told the waitress “I’m crying 420 roubles” rather than paying 420. This is due to the fact that in this language which is forever tripping me up, “I cry” is pronounced “Ya plachoo” and “I pay” is “Ya platyoo”. The difference is minimal, and as every teacher I’ve had has told me, my stress on words is horrific, meaning I constantly tell people something different from what I want to say, even though I’m saying the right words. Nightmare. The worst difference, and this is a mistake I’ve yet to make, is the very very miniscule difference in pronouncing “to write” and “to pee”.

What made my little mishap whilst trying to pay even more hysterical to my friend and I, was that I then hit myself in the eye and it proceeded to water profusely, thus giving the impression to the already unimpressed waitress that I was indeed now crying. All this after my friend told them their cake was stale.

From Russia with love.


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