When The Spouse wants to get out of something potentially unpleasant involving a stranger, he speaks German. This way the pan-handler or whomever blames "those cheap Austrians" instead of thinking poorly about Americans.
So, we're sitting in a little tea shop in Suzdal. In walks a young, gregarious Russian man.
"HELLO FELLOW RUSSIANS!" he says to the room in Russian.
He locks eyes with us.
" . . . and fellow . . . non-Russians!"
"Haben Zie vielen dank!" says The Spouse. Thank you very much.
Now, unbeknownst to The Spouse, Russia was playing German in football (soccer) last night. It was a Very Big Deal.
Young Russian Guy buys us a bottle of a local honey-based brew. "It is my policy to make friends with The Opposition," he explains. "I wish you all the best."
"Do you think he's drunk?" I ask The Spouse. "He's not drunk. I mean, he seems cheerful, but he's not drunk, right? Ya think?"
Young Russian Guy and his friends arrange themselves at the table next to us. "It's just a bit crowded," he announces. "Can everyone [meaning us] move to the left. Just a little. A LITTLE!"
We all scoot left.
"STOP! That's enough," he says. He and his friends order vodka shots.
"It's 4:00 in the afternoon," The Spouse says to me. "This is not his first shot of the day."
P.S. Germany won 2-1.
Suzdal was like a Russian fairy tale. I can't say enough good things about the inn and the town. It was all adorable little cottages and cats and cats in windows of adorable cottages. See below.
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