Thursday, September 30, 2010

Borscht: a Detective’s Greatest Obstacle

I’ve been spending my free time trying to solve an unsolved mystery. See this Swedish girl disappeared like forty or so years ago but no one knows what happened to her. So far, over the course of my investigation I’ve come across a family tied to Nazism, some rape, this money laundering scandal and a few other creepy things. But I haven’t been able to solve the mystery because of borscht. That’s right, borscht; the soup.

How did I get into this mess? Well I simply bought the book “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and got sucked into the story. So technically I’m less investigating a murder and more reading a national bestseller, but potato patato. But my point is that I haven’t been able to finish the book no matter how hard I try because something always gets in the way.

For example, on Tuesdays I have two forty-five minute breaks throughout the day. That is a lot of possible reading time. The problem is that I can’t read at school, because let’s face it, I’m pretty much Lady Gaga here and I get swarmed with children. I love my little minions, but not when I actually want some me time. It’s like, just walking into the courtyard it feels as though honey is being metaphorically poured all over me, and as soon as I sit on the bench then I get metaphorically covered in flour in the form of Georgian children. (I’m exaggerating a tad but I think you get the point).

So, reading at school is simply not an option. Add in five minutes to walk to the nearby park and that still leaves forty minutes of reading time. Forty potential minutes, that is.

Twenty minutes is the longest I’ve been able to sit on a park bench before a Georgian man approaches me and begins to try to have a conversation with me. After I pretend I don’t know any Georgian or Russian, the most resilient of men still stand there and speak louder, possibly hoping that maybe I will understand Georgian if they practically yell at me. On any day, this specimen (we’ll call him the GeMaWhoCaTAH: Georgian man who can’t take a hint) is annoying but when you’ve just made a breakthrough in your investigation; it’s unbearable. I almost told this man, “I am solving a Swedish murder, and if you don’t walk away then there will be a Georgian murder to solve too”. But I held back (mainly due to my being unable to say this phrase in any foreign language).

Now, you’d think that at home it would be easy to read. Au contraire. First, I must give a detailed summary of everything that happened in the book to anyone who sees me reading. (Though I do love how adorable it is that my host family cares about what I’m reading). Then, I need to give updates every twenty pages or so about what is currently happening in the book. Furthermore, I must take borscht breaks.

During the most riveting, revolting most epic part of the book my deda made an appearance in my novel to tell me I must eat. I tried to explain to her that I couldn’t eat just yet, it was vital I finish the chapter but deda could not accept this answer. “Borscht will help you solve murders! Modi (come) jame (eat)!”

Well, better a borscht interruption than a GeMaWhoCaTAH interruption!

In addition to those two interruptions there are a few others that have kept me from finishing my book. There’s of course the ‘come play with this cute baby’ interruption, as well as the ‘how do I get that huge bug out of my room without coming too close’ interruption.

Someday soon I will finish my book and then I will have a new mystery to solve: making the grammar rules for the Simple Perfect tense interesting to eleven year olds. (Talk about a forty year old mystery).


  1. love this! :) ... and I'm so jealous you're Georgia! with all that borcht and cherchella!! :)

  2. Well, I asked my Georgian husband "What can this poor girl say to these annoying men to make them leave her alone?" His advice: They will not take no for an answer, they are on a serious hunting expedition and you are enticing prey. He said just totally ignore them, don't even look at them and no matter what they say, don't say anything. It's like the advice my own great aunt gave me in the US as a teenager "if you do not reply, there can be no conversation".
    Hope this helps.