There is really a difference in cultures around the world, and the latest example was provided by Dmitri, a 40 year old Russian guy who purchased our Toyota yesterday. I asked Dmitri if he was from Russia, and he muttered suspiciously, “Yes, but we don’t ask where people are from.” As he was test driving the car with me, I said, “Dmitri, please slow down, the speed limit is 15 and you’re doing 35; it’s not safe, and you may get a ticket.” His reply was, “So what, I don’t live here.” “Oh-kay…”
I decided that he might not want to discuss his current job (maybe one of Vladimir Putin’s “enforcers”, or worse?). He wouldn’t hand over any money until we had both signed the title, and kept hurrying us along, even to the point of taking the pen from Suzanne’s hand. Suzanne’s comment that he was “the pushiest guy I’ve ever met” was telling; as you know, she is a pretty patient and understanding woman, and when she gets flustered, you know it’s gotta be bad! I was very happy when we got to the bank and deposited his cash; I was just a bit worried about a potential counterfeiting connection with this lad. At least he had good vision; when we drove up to meet Suzanne, who had come from a lunch with friends, he said, “Is that your wife? She’s beautiful!”
Okay, a new periodic element (but not a heavy metal element…) for the blog: a geography quiz. How this works is that I close my eyes, spin my globe (a Christmas gift from My Loving Wife), and point at random… where the globe and my finger intersect is the locale for the quiz, which has two parts. Today’s Quiz: (1) On what large body of water is the city of Turkmenbashi located? (2) For what fish is that body of water famous? The first person to email me with both correct answers will receive a package of Hostess Chocolate Cup Cakes, delivered personally by bike if the winner lives in The Villages or nearby… email your answer to email@example.com
While walking Rudy the other day, I noticed that he would catch a scent, then turn away, then turn back, then away, until he found whatever it was that he was seeking. I realized that he was focusing in on his target using his sense of smell, which is 10,000 times more intense than my own. His world at that moment was limited to a piece of dirt and grass about 4 feet square, yet he probably found a hundred different smells where I might be lucky to find one. He wasn’t distracted by any outside influences, including loud noises and cars driving by. He was focused… I think Rudy was truly “living in the now”.
Speaking of dogs, while walking near the boardwalk at Lake Sumter the other day, I spoke to Connie Smith, who was walking her Papillion Molly. They were both delightful, and I learned a lot about that breed, a really cute little dog. Papillons were bred as lap dogs for European royal houses, so they don’t have the hunting instincts that our dachshunds Rudy and Gretchen display. They have more “courtly” attributes; here is Molly displaying her ballet skills.