ST. PETERSBURG – The other day, I think I got my first Russian wedding proposal. It wasn’t because of my dark beautiful looks. Nor was it thanks to my American sense of style.
An editor at the Television and Radio Facility kissed my hand because he was impressed with my ability to shoot, edit and produce video segments. He wanted me to stay in St. Petersburg.
“You like St. Petersburg, right?” he asked through my translator, Shuana.
I nodded. I also told him I’d have to check with my husband.
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I spent my afternoon at the Television and Radio Facility, helping Shuana translate my lecture videos.
Shuana explained that the editor wanted to “test” me and see how I would handle student work. He proposed having me spend three months in St. Petersburg, working for the TV and Radio Facility, without pay.
I laughed. After U.C. Berkeley, Northwestern University and a couple of internships in between – there was no way I was going back to being an intern.
I told him my husband would be sad if I didn’t come home.
“Consider yourself divorced,” the editor said through my translator. “You’re free. We have a Russian dormitory with your name on it.”
Then he introduced me to one of the producers for the school’s youth TV station. He said this producer was also “free” and I could stay with him.
My laughter turned nervous. I kept pointing out that my husband wanted me to come home.
“He’ll find another girl,” he said through Shuana. “Someone younger.”
According to the hubby over Google chat – some folks at the university have a sick sense of humor. He offered to “have words” with my funny tormentors. I told him he should come over because I needed a date to the ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre.
It was nice to be able to joke around with colleagues in two different languages.
Mental note: keep an eye on my passport.