From Russia with Love Part III: The Gems of Russia

Time is a really funny thing. You can be at one place today, but at a completely different place the next month on the same date. It was 19 May 2014. My husband and I were in Thailand, celebrating his birthday and also our twelve years anniversary which happens to fall just the next day. We trot around and made our way to Samila Beach in Songhkla and shopped til we drop in Hadyai. We stopped by Malaysian Consulate in Hadyai for awhile before ending our vacation. It was a lovely experience.

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One month later, on the very same date; 19 June 2014, I found myself in a different embassy, for a different reason and purpose. Yes. Time is indeed funny at times. If one month ago I was in the Malaysian Consulate in Hadyai, this month I found myself in the Embassy of The Russian Federation in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. The Embassy was established since April 1968 with H.E. Vladimir Kuznetsov as the first Ambassador, marking the beginning of bilateral relationship between Russia and Malaysia. Presently, Her Excellency Lyudmila G. Vorobyeva and a number of 20 diplomats continue the legacy to strengthen this partnership through political, trade, investment, educational and cultural exchange. Russia is currently Malaysia’s 26th trading partner.

Remember I blogged about Moiseikin, The Art of Russian Luxury not long ago? Well, if you haven’t read it, you might want to do so. The artworks is the epitome of elegance and sophistication, but even the most expensive of Moiseikin’s artwork and precious jewelries could not have prepared me for the real Russian gems; the real life Russian ladies.

Yours truly was invited to lunch with Her Excellency Lyudmila G. Vorobyeva, the Ambassador of Russia and learn more about the Russians first hand. I wouldn’t pass it for anything else in the world. I’m not someone of high stature or a VVIP and it’s not everyday that the ambassador entertain guests in her home.

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It was a very intimate lunch. Apart from my little boy, only ladies were present. Ms. Paris and her intern Ms.Nazrin, Ms. Polina Matveycheva whom I’ve met during the Russian National Day dinner not long ago was there too, along with Her Excellency and her niece. They might be in diplomatic line, but gosh, they are so strikingly beautiful that one could easily mistook them for international supermodels.

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These are what we had for lunch that day.Β  I was told that these food are typically served for meals in a Russian household. Unlike Malaysian food, they are something what the dietitians and nutritionists will approve. πŸ˜‰ Salad with smoked salmon, thick and creamy potato soup, a typical Russian dish as maincourse, and fruit cocktail to wash off the meal with.

After the fulfilling lunch, came the tea and coffee along with sweet pastries and chocolate, and that’s where the real fun and excitement begins.

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Her Excellency Lyudmila G. Vorobyeva, the ambassador of Russia, telling us about herself and her country. Now, the leaders from our country and the VVIPs from the rest of the world may have worked with her on a professional level, but that day, I had the pleasure of getting to know her on a personal level. She told us about her interesting childhood where she grew up in Thailand over a cuppa tea. Apparently growing up there has left a great impression in her life. From our conversation, I discovered that she is a fun loving person. She loves all the simple pleasure life could offer. And one thing the rest of the world might not know is that this doting mother and wife loves dancing too. The little chit chat then proceeds to some very basic lesson on the Russian language. πŸ˜› I was given a Russian version of my name, which is simply ‘Liza’ and was taught on how to greet people in Russian.

Apart from that, I was also taught on how to address the Russians correctly without sounding rude or impersonal, and was taught a few terms of endearments in Russian too. πŸ™‚ I struggled a little bit, but I think I can get a hang on some of it now after some practice. πŸ˜› ‘ Preevyet‘Β is hi or hello, ‘Spaseeba‘ is Thank you,Β  ‘Da‘ is Yes,’ Nyet‘ means No,’Da sveedaneeya‘ is Goodbye and ‘Ya tebyaA lyublyu‘ is I love you.

I’m always intrigued by the Russians lifestyle and culture, and one of my all time object of fascination is the Russian dolls. While we were chit chatting that day, I decided to ask Her Excellency about the famous Russian nesting doll, the Matryoshka Doll. I’ve read about it in various mystery novels and seen it in the movies, but never in real life. I wanted to know the real story and the origin of the doll, and who better to ask than a real Russian, who will definitely not make a fiction out of it. ( Hollywood and authors all around the world has given me a rather strange impression about the Russians, you see)

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To my surprise, Her Excellency took out a Matryoshka doll from her collection and gave it to me as a gift. Gosh…I was a bit flustered as I was only asking about the origin and the real story behind the doll (or rather dolls, the doll is hallow and there is few smaller ones nesting inside of it) Thank you so much for your hospitality and your generosity Your Excellency. I’ve seen the Matryoshka dolls in the movies but have never even dreamed of owning one, and now they are on display in my bedroom. πŸ™‚ I’ll think of you and Russia whenever I see the doll. (More about the doll on the blog soon)

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Lunch ended too soon, and here’s one for the album. From left, my new friend Ms. Polina Matveycheva, Her Excellency Lyudmila G. Vorobyeva and on the right, her beautiful niece. πŸ™‚ They are the real life Russian gems, much more precious than Moiseikin’s art and jewelries πŸ™‚

 

Cleffairy: Getting to know the Russians on a personal level makes me feel like visiting Russia and learn more about the beautiful country one day. There’s more Russian gems and treasures that I have yet to discover. Yes. I would really like that, to visit Russia. πŸ™‚

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