Once again, I cursed my inability to speak Russian today. Now before you go getting all uppity about how people ought to a). make a greater effort, or b). learn the actual language of the country in which they live, allow me to point out that studies have shown once you're over thirty your brain is too sclerotic to learn a new language and b). having already spent time learning a language no one speaks (Azeri), my new policy is "no language spoken by fewer than 50 million people." This excludes Ukrainian.
Besides, Russian is so damned hard, which is really why I opted for Azeri in the first place.
I am an ongoing disappointment to my teacher, Luba, who reacts with forced enthusiam at my smallest sign of progress. She teaches enough professional ex-pats not to castigate when homework isn't done, or be surprised when one week out of the country erases a month's worth of lessons. She is the only reason I continue with this farce.
One aspect has been gratifying however. The Producer showed up in Kyiv, thinking he's all superior because he's been learning Russian more or less for two years(emphasis on the less). I gleefully pointed out how he was mispronouncing a lot of simple words. Turns out, he's learning to speak Russian with an Azeri accent!
That's probably why he gets his ass kicked when he visits Russia.