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To the woman who sat next to me on the train ride from Marburg to Hannover, where I had a connection to Bremen, on Friday morning,
I hope you’re having a nice week-long vacation. As I said, I’m sorry that it’s only for a week.
I’m also sorry that I couldn’t, or didn’t, give you a better answer as to why an American is studying Russian history in German. I just sort of laughed and said, “Germany has the archives!” and “This is the 21st century!” and, “Oh, life.”
If I had known the words in German, or if I had been more determined at that moment, I probably could have, should have, would have tried to say that this is the way the world works. You take Russian in college because you really liked a Chekhov class that you took because of the only history class that fit in your schedule and you find yourself on a train in Germany a few years later, speaking to people who don’t understand that sequence of events, and never will, because how could they, when you yourself will never, either?
Also, thank you for pointing out that I was sitting on the travel schedule. That was very helpful.
Also also, thank you for saying that my German is super. It isn’t, and I know that, and you certainly know that, but it was really nice of you to say.