When I lived in DC, I was surrounded by Russian-speaking friends. They took me to Whistler and taught me how to ski. They watched Ирония судьбы every New Year’s Eve. They made amazing Голубцы and Пирожки, even as they insisted У нас ничего не есть.
At one point I signed up for a Russian class at Georgetown University; it didn’t take. I’m trying again by listening to an audio course whenever I’m stuck in traffic.
Do you speak Russian? I’ll trade practice time for lunch or dinner at European Foods on Aurora! We can eat Пельмени while debating whether dumplings originated from Russia or China!