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Back Story: The Heartbeat of Tallinn

  • Author: By Katie Croft
  • Published: February 28, 2013

While sitting on a park bench in Estonia purposefully eavesdropping on an evangelistic conversation, I had a sweet woman sit down beside me. I smiled. She smiled. I continued scribbling away on my small notepad. Then she stared speaking to me. I smiled again and, in my best charades motions, indicated I hadn't understood a syllable.

The babushka smiled and nodded. I smiled and nodded, and went back to scribbling.

Moments later, she spoke again. I apologized again for not understanding Russian. "Only English," I said clearly.

She sighed and nodded. I sighed and nodded. then she tried again, louder. I pointed to myself saying "Katie", then pointed to her, hoping she would introduce herself. Maybe she did, I don't know. I can't speak Russian.

Finally, I pulled out an evangelistic business card from the conference. Her face lit up and she started talking again, faster. Obviously the conversation pattern was not changing. I packed up and explained I was leaving. She didn't understand a syllable I had just said–I know, I was now doing the same thing she had been doing. Oh, well, at least I know I made a polite exit.

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