So after about a month in Volgograd, I cracked and bought a cheap guitar. She is black and red, her name is Fantastika, but you may call her Tika.
I’m pleased to say that I ended up buying the guitar from the smallest shop I visited. It was perhaps the size of my dorm room in college; the shopkeeper had maybe 20 guitars in stock. He was friendly and, since I struggled to communicate with him in Russian, I did it through music. It really is the universal language…
I began to play “Old Jacket”, a sort of ballad by Bulat Okudzhava. He was a bard, one I’ve heard be compared to Bob Dylan. The shopkeeper recognized the tune, gave me a surprised smile, and sang along with me. (It’s a beautiful song, sad and sort of funny. I love Regina Spektor’s cover.)
Well, he was so enchanted with me that he gave me a discount on the guitar, plus free strings and guitar picks! Well, alright– I’ll admit that ‘enchanted’ is hyperbole…
I believe he was not just a good salesman, but also genuinely kind. Coming from a skeptic like me, that means a lot. He was so friendly that I wish I had a reason to visit him again, but he gave me all the supplies I need!
I do know I’ll be going back in December to get a gift for my new Russian friend. She’s entirely responsible for this lovely purchase; she’s a Volgograd native and fellow musician. The kind of strings the shopkeeper gave me are made in America and are of the highest quality.. She buys them for herself only as a treat. I think a pack of those strings would be an appropriate “thank-you” gift from me. :)
That’s all for this post, but I’d like to let you know what to expect from this blog in the coming weeks! I’ve been listening to a lot of Modest Mouse, and lately I’ve taken to analyzing their songs. I’m going to do a series of posts (anywhere from 10 to 20, who knows!) about my favorites. Keep an eye out!
Love, caprice cake