What follows is an email sent from an employee living in company accomodation to the estate services department of a Russian oil company.

Dear Olga M.,

I am resident of Block B leaving in (349). I wanted to inform you about a problem.

More than week ago I have started to here some rustle and scratches under kitchen sink (sink box). This sink box does have doors and seems to be isolated. This space is not fully isolated from rest of the flat and it turns out that rats can move and go out from kitchen fitting through big space in it.

One nice morning my wife clearly saw the rat (quite a big one with huge tail) which was shocking for her. The rat in the house it is not only shocking, it is also dangerous as rats are known for spreading diseases.

The next day I called to Nataliya G. (Helpdesk). From our discussion I understood that I am not the only one who has such a problem in Block B. I was assured that immediate action would be taken (placing rat-traps). I waited until Monday but unfortunately nothing happened and Nataliya explained that they had a supply problem.

The same day I decided to call Maria F. and during a nice conversation we discussed the possibility of poisoning them. But I am worried that the rats will die below the kitchen sink and the house will start to smell like a morgue. In this case more effort will be required to remove this corpse out from under-deck space. At the end of the conversation we agreed that the representative would come to set the rattraps and try to close the holes in the kitchen set. By this time, the rats had already damaged a pair of shoes (case happened in Block B).

On Wednesday this representative really came, but instead of normal traps he brought carton (A4 size) with glue on it. This is a maybe working for small mouses, but I doubt it is effective for large rats.

He tried to calm down my wife by telling her not to worry and that it will possibly last until December. As for the holes we can not do much since in case of dissembling it is a problem.

Despite of the doubt on the effectiveness of the A4 traps, they were set for all of last night. This morning in the sink box one carton was turned upside-down but unfortunately no rat in it.

I think this a problem that can be solved. And I do not think we should live under continuous danger of being bitten or getting infected and having my belongings damaged by rats.

Please could you somehow influence this matter?
Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,
Sergei S.

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8 Responses to Self-Parody

  1. Howard Roark says:

    I love reading English written by Russians. I mean no disrespect, it’s just funny, e.g. “…This is a maybe working for small mouses,…” Believe me, my written Russian is a joke.

    Anyway, a friend of mine, a former, very large, courageous ex-Marine lived in an apartment in the Urals mountains destroying missiles for the U.S. and Russian governments. He had the same problem with rats. He heard noises from his bedroom and ran to the kitchen ready to pounce on what he thought would be a human intruder. He saw several large rats all over the place. He screamed like a girl and ran back into the bedroom and stayed there until he didn’t hear them anymore. The landlord wound up closing the holes, but the terror remained as long as he lived there.

  2. Tatyana says:

    Mr. Roark*, the title should have given you a hint as to who wrote what.
    Ask yourself: why would a Russian guy named Sergei write to a Russian woman called Olga in English? I’ll give oyu another hint: Russians typical but different mistakes in English. Articles, sequence in sentence, verb tenses. [Like I do, f.i.]

    *Admirable confidence in choosing a pseudonym. Are you an architect, too? A brilliant one?

  3. Ze German says:

    And I think I know which place that was … I never saw them in my apartment there, but my downstairs neighbor (the fishkiller) had his place flooded when the hairy visitors chewed through the water supply … At least never a dull moment there!

  4. Tim Newman says:

    Ask yourself: why would a Russian guy named Sergei write to a Russian woman called Olga in English?

    We asked ourselves this (the email is verbatim between Russians, I only changed the names). I think it was written in Russian to try to engage the expats who were copied in. Unfortunately, they mainly just smiled at the Russians finally coming into contact with the faceless bureaucracy that they themselves set up and understanding what it was like for the expats for the previous five years.

  5. Howard Roark says:

    Thank you for being so polite and giving me the benefit of the doubt Tatyana. Sheesh.

  6. Khabarovsk says:

    Self-parody? Nope, it’s more like klyukva…

  7. Tatyana says:

    Mr. Roark, I didn’t give you anything except a helpful hint. You are welcome.
    Don’t sheesh me.

  8. Howard Roark says:

    I am completely bewildered why you are giving me a hard time. What did I say that struck a nerve? Also, “sheesh” is nothing negative. It’s like saying “geez.”

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