From Russia With Love

A Matt Monro song. It’s one of the songs my dad usually plays… and I know it’s a movie. The second James Bond movie (I just googled that a few seconds ago to make sure that it’s a movie, too. Hahaha!).

However, I won’t be talking about the song or the movie. I haven’t seen any 007 movie, actually. Though, I’m listening to the song right now. Nostalgic. I sometimes wake up to this song playing. Reminds me a lot of my dad.

Russia. When I hear of Russia, that phrase always comes to mind. From Russia with love. And communism… and Stalin, Lenin, Trostsky… dictators… but, I just only know their names and that they were leaders of Russia… plus Yeltsin and Putin. Anton Chekhov. I’ve always thought that it’s his work that I read when I was a kid. The Seagull. But, apparently, (I just googled it a few seconds ago. Ulit.) what I’ve read is Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. I don’t know what to think of this long time misconception.

Speaking of Russia also reminds me of Glasnot and Perestroika that was introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev. I’ve encountered Glasnot and Perestroika while reading Sydney Sheldon’s The Doomsday Conspiracy. Hmm… what else? Oh, the St. Basil’s Cathedral. I’ve always wanted to see that since I was a kid. I have always been fascinated by the structure. I guess that’s how far my knowledge about Russia goes.


St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia

Earlier today, I met Natasha and Andrei, siblings from Russia. Natasha just became a Christian a month ago; Andrei, isn’t. But, they both attended the Bible study. Before, we started the Bible study, we had lunch first. Of course, we had a conversation. Filipino pa ba ang tatahimik sa kainan? There were 6 of us, Filipinas. Fortunately, Natasha and Andrei aren’t the type who keep to themselves. So, we really had a very fun and sensible conversation. I had a Russian classmate once; for a few weeks, I think. And he’s really tough-looking and doesn’t socialize much with the rest of our class. Then, I know someone married to a Russian; they don’t really have a lot of good things to say about him. So, honestly speaking, I’m not really impressed. But, meeting Natasha and Andrei was like a breath of fresh air. If you’re so used to the tough stuff about Russia, you’d be thinking, “Oh, so there’s another side to Russia, huh?” We learned a little about their culture from them, and I hope, them from us. And I realized how little we know about Russia. I know Russia but not in the deeper sense of knowing. Moreover, I think Russia has a lot of history and it’s worth knowing.

I know some people… or most people still believe that Russia is a communist country. Truth is, not anymore. If my info is correct, coincidentally, they celebrate their Independence Day on June 12 (Can’t wait for Andrei or Natasha’s response if it’s the right day. Baka kasi tulog na sila.). Now that’s one thing in common between the Philippines and Russia.

Another thing is, I didn’t know that they have the Aurora Borealis, too. In Murmansk, where Natasha and Andrei come from, it’s a common thing during winter. Lucky them! I’ve always wanted to see it. I’ve learned that it’s really a beautiful sight.

Sad to say, they’re going home to Russia next week. It was really fun meeting them and somehow I could see that we could really be friends with them. Well, good thing, there’s Facebook. So, we could still keep in touch. And maybe, when I get the chance to go to Russia, I’d visit them. Well, now that I know them, my hesitation about going to Russia has lessened. I wouldn’t be a total stranger anymore because I now know someone from Russia. 🙂


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