Swear words. I try not to use them. I don’t want to be in the habit and let the naughty words fall when little ears are near. I will grant it is most satisfying to use those words when you are angry, frustrated, or sewing. Last year, I was trying to sew a formal gown for myself under a tight time crunch. Curse, I did.

I finished the dress, with much cursing. It wasn’t up to the finishing standards that I hoped to achieve, but it was wearable by the end. And the lighting at the event was favorable for an uneven bodice. I did well with the darts, I will say.

Driving in my current locale is trying, to say the least. The local drivers take lane lines as a mere suggestion. They don’t hesitate a whit to look at their phones or take a call while driving. Missing bumpers? That’s practically required here. I was driving with Landry in the passenger seat and he pointed out a car that was missing the passenger side front door. I’d noticed it before he said something and hadn’t even thought it odd. Missing door on a car? Shrug. That’s when I realized my expectations for driving have gone a bit native.

My hand hovers over the horn a lot. Drifting into my lane? beep, beep. The worst however, are the marshutki. This is Russian for short bus. Well, not in the American sense of that phrase. It’s a small bus that is privately owned and maintained about as well as Chernobyl. Looking at one of these things driving down the road, you’d think the passengers were practicing for “most people stuffed into a telephone booth” record. The van/bus will be sagging on it’s poor suspension.

A marshutka will pull over anywhere to pick up a passenger, stop abruptly to let them out. Turn signals aren’t an after thought; they are a never thought. I’ve been warned never to ride one due to the maintenance and overcrowding issues. But I didn’t need to be told that. One look at the crammed interior would have me fleeing the other way.

And that brings us back to cursing. Perhaps, only people who have been to Slavic countries will appreciate this: Marshutka, with an appropriate Russian accent, is a very satisfying substitute for a swear word.

Say it like you mean it.

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