10 years ago, when we were going to move to Russia, I anticipated how my American husband will get excited about it. He grow up in the South, and travel overseas only twice, so I thought he should be thrilled about the prospective to move to Russia. “Aren’t you excited about it?!!! “- I kept asking him looking at his face with hope. “You are going to such a great country!!!” Despite my enthusiasm, my husband seemed to be worried and much less excited then I would expect . I ordered a lot of Russian literature as Chekov, Nabokov, Bulgakov, Bunin, to name the few. I even took “12 Chairs” by Ilf and Petrov from the library to slowly introduce him to the culture. I was especially enthusiastic about this one. Really, how can you not like “12 Chairs” ? When I read it, I cry from laughing…I have to say that the book was some kind of shorten version of “12 chairs” translation, I guess, because it wasn’t as big as it shoukd be. But, anyway. I gave to my husband the book and he started to read it at evenings. I watched him…He didn’t laugh, not even a smile. Well, that was strange. I waited two more nights – the same reaction (or no reaction to be true). Then I finally gave up and confront him with question. “So, do you understand what is this about?” “ Sure,” – he answered to me. “Did you get it?”- I repeated (it’s my favorite habit all family members hate). “ And who is Ostap Bender? What kind of person he is?”- I continued to interview him. “Just a сute criminal,”- he answered calmly. I was shocked. Just a criminal!!!??? Ok, Yes, maybe, BUT!!! It’s not all about that…” He is just great –so funny, smart and creative! All Russia admires him!” “All Russia admires a criminal…Why am I not surprising?”- he grumbled and turned off a reading light.
To Laugh or Not To Laugh