Happy new year, everyone!

Sveta has shared with me the videos she’s made over the vacation. Below is a short clip that pretty much sums up my relationship with Tanya and Sveta. As a bonus, you will get to see a typical Russian New Year’s Eve dinner.

Another typical Russian thing: Tanya gets up to close the door at about :40 because the babushka complained that she was sitting in a draft. Russians believe that sitting in a draft makes you sick. If you challenge this belief using fancy words like “microbe” and “personal hygiene,” they get upset.

To my left is Sasha; to my right is the babushka. Tanya, you already know, is the one that closes the door. Sveta is the cameraperson, but you see her at the very end. Across from me are Tanya’s son (Sveta and Sasha’s nephew) and his wife. The man at the end is a mystery to me, but I assume it’s Tanya’s husband.



Transcript for relevant part of the video (beginning after Tanya closes the door):

Tanya: Ok, we have horseradish here–
Sveta: She– don’t give [Kate] a plate [of aspic], she won’t eat it. You don’t eat that kind of thing, right?
Kate: [uncomfortable shrug]
Tanya: Why doesn’t she eat it? Eat it! It’s meat. Meat. See, she doesn’t know yet.
Sveta: Well, then try it. If you don’t like it, don’t eat it.
Tanya: Try it, Katja, it’s good. Believe me. It’s good. It’s garlic and meat. Nothing else. Go on, eat. Eat it all.
Kate (directed at the babushka, who has decided I want fish): No, I already have som–well, OK.
Sveta (to Tanya): OK.
Tanya: Here’s horseradish, some horseradish for you, and here’s mustard. Take it, don’t be shy. Go on, eat.