Saturday, July 17, 2010

Meet Rosa

Rosa is my suitemate. We share a bathroom, a fridge and a door. We really can't communicate at all, but I've grown to sort of adore her.

Rosa is from Palermo, Italy. She's in Moscow for four months learning Russian. She has two daughters in their 30s, and her husband either died or divorced her -- I'm not sure which -- 20 years ago. Like I said, we can't really communicate. Rosa speaks an unintelligible mix of Russian, Italian, English and Crazy. She gesticulates wildly in a quintessentially Italian fashion and is passionate about, well, I'm not sure what she's saying, but about everything, it seems. She has a portable CD player, and I can often hear her in the next room either repeating Russian words or singing along as she putters about her room.

One day not long after I arrived, I answered a knock on our door, and there was a young, ripped Egyptian guy standing there. "Is Rosa here?" She wasn't. "Tell her I stopped by to say hello?" Um, sure. "Rosa is such a cool lady." Really? Huh. I mean, I don't really know her. Sometimes she invites me into her room to drink juice and "talk," which basically consists of me speaking Russian and her not understanding, her speaking Italian or her special mix of languages and me not understanding, and a few times we've actually used two dictionaries to translate words from Italian to Russian and then Russian to English. Usually they're words like "birch." I mean, I had already guessed "tree," but apparently she really wanted me to understand that she was talking about a birch tree. So you can see why conversation might take a while.

After the Egyptian guy stopped by, I started paying more attention to Rosa -- not just her quirks, but her essence, you could say. And I have to agree that she's such a cool lady. I love that she gets really big eyes, smiles, nods 50 times and says "ciao" when she sees me. I love that she sings along with her CD player everywhere she goes, that she talks to the TV in the cafeteria while she's watching auto racing, that she sketches the pigeons that land on her windowsill and shows me the drawings multiple times. I hope that when I'm Rosa's age, I'm still as passionate, as adventurous, as excited to travel the world, to try to learn new things and to connect with people as Rosa is. She's kind of awesome.

1 comment:

Kuya said...

That is awesome! I love her already.