Monday, February 13, 2012

Trying to give away a flag

I made my flag out of paper
Last year the folks at the university asked me to impersonate an Englishman. They asked for this because they wanted to assemble a diverse selection of students from various lands to represent Minsk State Linguistic University at some sort of an educational fair. As I've already written, they had a British flag but not American, and somebody thought that people at the show wouldn't notice that I have an American accent. They also had a string of flags decorating the top of their booth, once again without an American flag.

I tried at the time to buy an American flag around here, but failed. So over the summer I ordered some small flags on sticks and a bigger one to hang from the string at the top of the next booth. That part was easy, since I found a fine choice of flags on the internet. But I had a devil of a time giving them away.

First I took them to the Belarusian Student Union, looking for the people who originally recruited me. Unfortunately, the head woman had been promoted to a new position and nobody in the office had any idea where to put my flags. I gave them two small flags on sticks because I had extras anyway and if these got lost I could offer more when needed. I asked next about the bunting, which was tricky because I still don't know how to say "bunting" in Russian. (OK, it's флажки.) The new people in the office had no idea that they'd ever had such bunting so I decided to take my special flag to the top, the pro-rector. I got as far as her secretary, who recognized me, and I offered her my flag.

I could see the skepticism on her face as she asked me, "So, you want us to fly an American flag?" I explained again about the bunting and she consented to take the flag. Possibly by now they have figured out who controls the flag bunting and whether my flag fits on the rope. Or perhaps they are now using it as a covering for their tea service. I don't really know.

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