On the way to Tambov…

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I find myself falling into an easy conversation on the coach with a very sweet old lady from Moscow. After telling her story, she asks me of mine; I enthusiastically explain that I am headed via Moscow to Tambov. The conversation pauses, she has a face of someone who had been given a promise by a liar, the very mention of Tambov seems to have set off alarm bells…then she laughs!

“You are going to Tambov?”

“Yes, Moscow to Tambov,” I reply, smiling.

“Are you joking? Why would you go to that place? There surely is nothing there for you. Oh wait,” she continues, a knowing smirk gracing her features. “Aren’t there enough girls for you in Budapest, do you need to go to Tambov?”

Before I have even the opening of a chance to justify my plan, she begins laughing quite uncontrollably, repeatedly muttering under her breath.

“He’s going to Tambov, he’s going to Tambov…” She obviously has this idea of who I am and I don’t like it.

What bothers me the most is that she clearly knows something I don’t, and although she is the one manically laughing, she clearly thinks I am the mad one! Should I be worried? Right up until this moment, I have been looking forward to the unknown, now, I am speaking to someone in the ‘know’ and she seems to find it hysterical that I am even contemplating travelling there.

“OK, I get it. You are amused but, please, can you tell me what, what is so funny?”

“He’s going to Tambov, he’s going to Tambov.”

She is off again. Her laughter and muttering continue until we park at the airport. I let it go, happy to get off the coach. I am off to Tambov no matter what the lady says.