Last weekend, I was waiting at a bus stop to go visit some friends. I timed it badly so I got to the pick up point a good hour earlier than planned. Thankfully, it was a nice fall day, my iPhone was fully charged and I had my Kindle. I popped in my earbuds, turned on my Kindle, started reading, and was lost in an exciting read about… stratification in higher education (a real page turner, I know).
While “engrossed” in my book and listening to some music, a lady came up to me and asked me a question. I took out my earbuds and she repeated the question. From her motions and the little Russian I know, this is what I could figure from the conversation.
Waving her recently manicured hands, she turned around and motioned to her back pocket. She said her bus money (100 tenge) was in her back pocket but she didn’t want to ruin her nails so… could I reach in her back pocket and get out her money? When I said “I don’t understand” in an attempt to get out of a potentially awkward situation, she came closer and repeated the question.
Since my somewhat prudish Midwestern sensibility is entrenched in me, I looked at her with an apologetic face and said, “I’m sorry — no…” simultaneously shaking my head. To which she responded, “Ah, you don’t understand what I’m saying…” and asked someone else to do the deed for her. (And she did… so I DID understand what the manicured lady was asking!)
Now I can’t say that this is something I would experience here – but I can definitely say I’ve never been asked this anywhere else. #justanotherdayinaStan.