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8.19.2004 ||>  

Yesterday, I realized that no matter how detached I can be at times, cooly handling a situation (such as police extortion) that would have the average American reaching for a tire iron, I can still flip out on an almost apocalyptic scale.

After a bout of Insomnia, I fell asleep, waking to find my landlady calling me, telling me she wants to put furniture in my apartment. She told me about this two months ago, and despite not being happy with more furniture in my already fully-furnished, two-room apartment, I had no choice so I just accepted. Her friend went to Russia, leaving it all to her, what else was she supposed to do? Put it in her apartment? No, no, no! Put it into my apartment, of course! Besides, it was only going to be one or two pieces... right?

She came with a moving van full of furniture. I almost had a stroke from the stress induced by not killing her.

Obviously, the situation collapsed from there. The cool thing about Russians is that they don't take yelling badly. In fact, two people can have a perfectly civil conversation, even agree with each other, and to the non-Russian speaker appear ready to come to blows. So, I exercised my culturally-approved right to yell at the madwoman. It went something like:

Landlady (surprised): It'll be alright!
Me (tearily): No, it'll be a nightmare! There's already too much. I no longer live in an apartment, but a furniture store! How can I live in a furniture store?!
L (hedging): We'll take some furniture out tomorrow...
M (who has heard that one a hundred times): I can't live like this! There won't be any space! Good God!
L (motioning me to relax): Calm down my good girl, Everything will be fine!
M (refusing to relax): You don't want to live like this, how could I?!

And so on. It was quite a scene. I finally had a guy from Peace Corps come and translate for me because It was difficult to communicate and I wasn't understanding everything she was trying to say. I, of course, wasn't getting too much across either but my obvious rage. Today we settled everything. She didn't move nearly the amount of furniture she promised to, just dumped what would make me go over the edge at my neighbors. I'm baking a cake for the neighbors later in gratitude. They know how she steamrolls people.

In a way, it's a good thing. Right now, I'm looking forward to America, where it's actually illegal for a landlord to do this.

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