Oh, I bet some of you think it also includes asking for the toilet. Um, you’d be wrong. Here in Moscow you really need to just learn to hold it to survive. It is rare to find a clean toilet and sometimes you get the double whammy of not clean and also not western-style. Oh wait! Triple whammy because there is rarely toilet paper, or soap or towels. So, not only do you not need to know how to ask for a toilet, you also don’t need to drink anything while you’re out and about.
I can ride the metro, mostly read the signs, say that it is cold weather, say that is normal, and tell the dog to go home after taking him out.
I’m starting to understand some basic conjugations of verbs. I really like learning the verbs; I am something of a grammar geek and now I think I can pull out my russian text book and have a better comprehension of what I’m looking at.
After the new year I’ll start a distance class to continue what I’ve started and in the meantime I’ll be hitting the Pimsleur, reading the signs on the street, and listening intently to the conversations of the Russians around me.