“B ruski?” the well-dressed older gentlemen asked me in the lobby as his wife beamed awaiting my answer. (English translation: “Are you Russian?”)
I smiled my big toothy, wide smile and leaned forward with my eyebrows up. I thought I was giving them a friendly Hoosier body-language response: “What did you say?” All I understood was the word “Russian.”
Phoebe said that by leaning forward and smiling my body language responded, “Yes, I am Russian, so keep speaking Russian, because I can so totally understand every word you speak.”
After his wife rapidly began a very lovely conversation with us in Russian, she then saw my eyebrows furl in misunderstanding.
“Oh, where are you from?”
“America,” I answered.
“Ahh, we have met many Russians here, I thought you were Russian.”
We continued to have a nice conversation in English.
Friendship always starts with finding a commonality.