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Tatiana Vorontsova
There are so many ways this can go wrong.
Thu May 24, 2018 19:17

It was, Tatiana thought, the strangest things which reminded her of how awkward and inadequate her English really still was. Her grasp on school words and vocabulary had improved immensely, along with words needed to converse with her friends, but when a sign appeared about the clothing sale, she had been forced to retreat into her Anglo-Russian dictionary to decipher most of it. She did not have many opportunities to use many of the words that were pertinent to understanding the message of the sign, leaving her in a wilderness of comprehensible fragments broken up by stretches of unfamiliarity.

Once she figured it out, however, she was pleased. When she had gotten to speak to her family, one of the things Mama had fretted about was how on earth they were to ensure Tatiana had something proper to wear for the Ball at the end of the year, as she grew so unpredictably that fittings were necessary. Perhaps in this manner, Tatiana could remove one concern from Mama’s mind altogether, all on her own. Wouldn’t that be a welcome surprise for everyone at home!

As she made her way to the event, the one thing that concerned her was that Mama might not like something Tatiana selected, if she did in fact select something. An issue which never occurred to her was money. In almost thirteen years, Tatiana had carried and used money only twice, at charity bazaars. She was old enough now, of course, to know that new dresses and jewels and hats and toys and books did not just appear in the girls’ rooms, but her mind had never made the link between the fact money existed and the fact that merchants might expect her to personally give them some, rather than sending a bill that Mama and Papa would handle (or sometimes even authorize a third party to handle) for her. Nor had it ever occurred to her that English-speaking companies might balk at dealing with her mama and papa even if they were familiar with the impropriety of a young lady using money, as Olga Vorontsova did not speak or read English at all and even her husband usually conducted household business such as paying for dresses in Russian or French.

She dressed simply for the event, but still pointedly to her own taste, enjoying the brief opportunity to appear in something besides plain green – in this case, a yellow linen blouse and navy blue skirt which fell to her knees and her ordinary flat dark shoes. She had pulled half her hair back in a filigreed barrette of silvery metal to show her ears, where she was wearing earrings composed of dark blue topazes set in a design of silver ropework, while the rest of her hair fell down her back in its natural light brown waves. Three golden bracelets were divided between her two wrists and she also wore three rings as she entered the Cascade Hall, staring around wide-eyed at the setup and trying to figure out if this was more like a charity bazaar or the occasions when people came in with lots of things for her or one of her siblings or some combination of them to pick between.

Spotting a large number of gowns which looked well-made, she wandered over just to admire them, though their styles were much too old for Tatiana to wear - Mama would throw a fit if she wore such long skirts at her age. As she did this, a grown-up lady said Hello. Tatiana, knowing this word, smiled and nodded as she would to an upper-level servant in someone else’s house, assuming this to be the kind of treatment one should afford to merchants of quality goods. There were more words: she knew there was definitely something about someone’s sister and…ananas? No – the English word was strange, started with a p-sound and was made up of the words for some tree and yabloki – pineapple, that was what they called them, not anananananan, or whatever the lady had just said.

“Thank you,” she said, forcing down as much of her Russian accent as she could but coming nowhere near sounding like a native, when the lady stopped talking, assuming this was generally a safe response, as she sorted through words and made sense of them. “I need dress. A dress for me.” Oh this language barrier! “I am not big. You have this?”

OOC: With many thanks to Kir for kindly reminding me of this:

  • Ann and Ann ApparelAnn and Ann Pierce, Thu May 24 10:27
    Annabelle and Annette Pierce stood together at the booth for Ann and Ann Apparel. Annabelle had caught the disease afflicting Sonora (and a fair amount of the rest of the wizarding world) when she... more
    • There are so many ways this can go wrong. — Tatiana Vorontsova, Thu May 24 19:17
      • Let's try to reduce themAnn and Ann Pierce, Fri May 25 20:03
        Annette's smile slipped for just a moment, but then she brought it back. She was going to assume most of what she had just said went over the foreign girl's head. Sonora seemed to be expanding its... more
        • I'm giving it my best.Tatiana, Mon May 28 21:21
          Younger. That was the word. Tatiana thought she would have recognized it on paper, but reading was so much easier than speaking, and she didn’t often have occasions to compare her age to other... more
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