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Max's family comes to dinner

I love to host and entertain friends and acquaintances. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do much since being in Kazakhstan due to my schedule.

As you should know, I have been playing basketball with some great guys. One of the guys I have become ‘friends’ with is Max. Max has helped me out on a couple of occasions and I have been a few times to an English group that meets every Wednesday at his workplace.

Max had spoken of his wife and children several times and I mentioned to him that I wanted to meet them. I finally found time on my schedule to invite them over on Saturday.

I decided to prepare lasagna, salad, green beans, corn, bread and brownies. Green beans are relatively new to the diets of most Russians, and I wasn’t too sure about fixing them, but what else do you prepare with lasagna? I fixed the corn just to have another vegetable.

Max’s wife, Anya, is on a diet also, so we had a great time talking about carbs. She loved the green beans and corn so I was grateful for not listening to myself! I shared with her what I was and wasn’t eating on my diet. Of course, both of us were breaking our diets by eating the lasagna and then the brownies.

What was greatest for me was the fact that both of them speak English and so most of the conversation was in English. That does not happen too often for me, so I took advantage of it.

They have two small children, Artyom who is 3 years old and Polina who will be 1 year old in two weeks. Artyom was shy and not talkative when they arrived. After dinner I turned on Nickelodeon so he could watch cartoons and then gave him some markers and paper and he opened up and actually let me pick him up before the end of the evening.

Polina is a precious little girl and she is the opposite of Artyom. She is not shy and came to me right away. She is an active little girl and we had a great time entertaining her. I realized that I don’t have any toys for little ones so I need to buy some whenever I settle down into my own apartment.

Polina was getting tired and so after dessert, Max, Anya and the kids left. Max and Anya are the future of this country. Both are professionals, he is a computer programmist, she is a biologist. Right now, though, she is at home taking care of the kids.

Russians are not quick to call someone friend, unlike in America where you can know someone for a day and call them your friend. Russians have a proverb that goes something like ‘you are friends with someone after eating several kilos of salt together’ meaning you have shared many meals with each other. However, I already feel a bond with Max and now his family. It was indeed a pleasure having them in my apartment.

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