Anecdotes contest (The big plate)
Everything is relative. Einstein was right about that. Only he applied this understanding to the relativity of time that stretches at high speeds, while most people can deduce it from regular life.
At the beginning of the nineties, I’ve got a job in Vegas, in one of the companies producing Slot Machines. We rented a house and moved there with all the family. My younger son was only 3 months at that time, and we have got him a nanny from Russia. In part, it was done because due to the difference in currencies we could afford it and in part, because we wanted him to be exposed to the Russian language since early childhood. Her name was Zoya (or Zoya Andreevna as in Russian you suppose to append the paternal name to the first name as a sign of respect) She looked just like Russian President Yeltsin only squeezed from top to bottom and thus expanded in width. This usually happened to children of war. They were “pressed to earth” by bomb explosions and the whistle of flying by bullets. In truth it was because of malnutrition as all these children had to eat was potato frozen in the field because there was no time or manpower to pick it from the soil in time and nettle soup.
My older boy Jake was amazed at her appearance. He told me “Dad, how could you be blond and so ugly?”
My wife is Caucasian. I mean the real one, as she was born in Caucus Mountains and used to a certain way of life. This cultural pattern included frequent gatherings with family and friends, consuming great quantities of food and drinks with periodic stand-ups, and proclaiming of toasts. Whoever watched “My fat Greet wedding” could easily recreate this paradigm.
It happened that at that time there was a good pretext for such a gathering as her parents had an anniversary either 25th or 30th. Therefore, it was decided to celebrate this event in Vegas with the staying base in our house. Relative came from LA. New York, Chicago, Seattle and even I think from Israel. Some of them even had to stay in hotels.
Our house was filled with people, and screams and squeal of children. At times, the sound of squabbles between the cosines even dominated the thunder of gunshot that Zoya made in the toilet. The character of all the cosines was approximately the same when it came to yield to another person.
Since my job in Vegas was my first good clean (programming) job in my US career, I was paid trifle. Thus, my wife, who is quite practical, decided to feed the entire gang in one of the hotels. Those times it was cheaper to eat in a hotel than to buy food in supermarkets and cook at home. Especially this was true in regards to Circus Circus.
In its buffet was the cheapest (I think it was around $3 per person) The menu was vast from hamburgers and hot dogs to salads, pancakes, variously cooked meats, and poultry, to dishes of Chinese? Mexican and some other cuisines – the kind for simple folks.
The distinct feature of this buffet was its humongous plates. One needed two hands to encircle them.
The entire crowd directed our way to the buffet of Circus Circus. When Zoya saw all the abundance of foods her eyes seemed to come out of their sockets. Back then she was about 65 and apparently was born around 1925. Judging by her conduct and expressions she was born in some village and certainly went through WWII, starvation, and all other “advantages” of Soviet life. More so the nineties in Russian> based on the movies, wasn't exactly Bonanza.
Not asking any other questions, she grabbed the plate and went around the rows of food. No one from our group seemed to pay attention to her disappearance and her absence. However, everyone noticed her return. At first, they saw an approaching plate covered with all kinds of food stacked in three of four layers.
Behind those feed barricades finally appeared red from stress and focused like for a fight face of Zoya. She tramped to our table, paying no attention to the surprised faces of people finger-pointing at her. Finally, it happened in her life. She had her way with food! Getting finally to the table and unburdening herself, she caught her breath and started to eat. Poor soul, she didn’t know she could come for seconds.