My brother has shacked up with a dyevushka… and he doesn’t even know it

I’m becoming so eloquent in my Russian that I can introduce my whole family.

[In Russian] This is my sister. She has a husband and a daughter. This is my brother. He has a wife, a daughter and another on the way. This is my brother. He has a…. [In English]… “How do you say girlfriend in Russian?”

“Oh,” says my teacher. “Dyevushka.”

At which, I dissolve into giggles. Ongoing giggles. I simply cannot stop. Tonya, my teacher, looks at me like I’m crazy. I try to offer an explanation…

“My brother has a ‘young lady’ oh har har har.”

Never mind that the word ‘dyevushka’ stirs up in me all the bad things about Ukraine I can imagine: break-neck stilettos, slutty mini-skirts, sleazing onto western men, vying for green cards. Thus, I consider dyevushka a naughty word.

And never mind that my brother has been going out with his ‘dyevushka’ for longer than us three married siblings have been married… combined. She’s not of the ‘let’s nab a westerner’ dyevushka ilk. I think my brother should marry her just to save her from this shame in my Russian lessons.

To top it off, my teacher then set me a task to answer her questions. “Please only answer these questions in the third person singular,” she said.

Well, that was the end of the lesson. I just couldn’t stop laughing. Too much blog-world for me today.

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13 thoughts on “My brother has shacked up with a dyevushka… and he doesn’t even know it

  1. I am brain dead I think from moving but gee you are a breath of fresh air chick. I have alot of time and respect for you. I thoroughly enjoy your honesty and sense of humour. You are so funny with your Russian tid bits. I think you and I may become friends in person, if you ever come back?

  2. I love the way that you write. You know how to capture your audience. I’ll definitly be checking back here again!

  3. I hope the brother and his girlfriend get to read it – he is on hols at the moment and I know yesty that he was making custard cream bickies – perhaps as a Valentine’s surprise for his “dyevushka”!!!

  4. You may be able to help me, I’m planning a trip to Russia (actually I’ve already been to Moscow) and I need some help with some translation. I need to be able to say is “How much for your daughter” and “Do you have any nukes?”

    Any help would be appreciated.

    If the KGB or CIA show up, tell them I’m just kidding.

  5. Dear Amelita. I’m sure one day we will get to know each other over a yummy salad, followed by pasta and a bottle of sauv blanc (from Tassie, not NZ), topped off with Mars Bar slice. When we both move back to Brissie. Good luck with all the moving!

    Dear Samantha Louise. Thanks for visiting. It’s not hard to capture the audience when you’re talking about Ukraine. I feel like I live in one big comedy skit. I hope to continue entertaining you.

    Dear Mum. Feel free to forward this post onto said Big Bruv. Might give him a hint that eleven years of dating is driving you mad. However, I’m not sure custard cream bikkies are terribly romantic. So I hope you didn’t get your hopes up.

    Dear Willowtree. Yes I can offer translation.

    1) Babushka! Skolka vasha doch?: Literally means ‘old bag, how much is your daughter’.

    2) Zradstvuytse. Oo vas yest nukes? Da?! Moozhna pazhalsta!: ‘Greetings. Do you have nukes? You DO?! I want them please!’

    (Oo vas yest …. is really handy for getting beer from babushkas on the cheap – 50 cents for a 500mL of Becks. I have used it a lot.)

    I hope this helps. I don’t think you have to worry about the KGB or CIA, more likely the AFP who will dob you into Putin and let the Russkis arrest you.

  6. Man, that’s even better than I had hoped! Now my trip is sure to be a raging success.

    Спасибо миллион!

  7. Dear wes. Yes. I need to let go. When the internet was first popular way back in the 90s, and all my friends were 18 and I wasn’t, and I didn’t have a fake ID, well, my mum said the same thing.

    Dear enid. My mother hopes my brother reads it also. You just have to imagine how amused I was in my class.

    Dear willowtree. Pazalusta.

  8. That is soooooo funny. Our next-door neighbors consist of “western dude” and “russian wife.” They run a “dating” service called “Love without Borders.” HAHA! We also have a friend who goes out with russian girl after russian girl. They use him then leave him. He has been heartbroken so many times, it’s not funny. Hubby and I often joke about “mail order brides” and such, and how it is soooooo obvious they’re latching on to our friend because he can’t keep his gob shut about how much money he makes (a lot). Of course, he’s such a loser that he can’t find a single American woman who will have anything to do with him. He HAS to go russian if he ever wants a wife. Too bad, so sad.

  9. Dear Amy. Oh what a story. That’s quite interesting. Dating without borders – hehehe. Like mediciens sans frontiers I guess.

  10. hello, I arrived in kiev a month ago and i’m looking for russian classes. Where do you take your classes. Any help would be very appreciated.
    thanks

  11. Looks like you still have a lot to learn in Russian. Good luck. And previous post is probably from an angry Ukranian skinhead who didn’t like what you said. Just one question to Amy what exactly do you mean – go russian if ever wants a wife – makes me an angry RUSSIAN? And no pun intended – there is a lot of SINGLE American women (good or bad makes no difference) out there and each and every one of them would do the exact same to your neighbor as those “russian” girls. At least all the “russian” girls want is a green card for it not half of his stuff.

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