OK, not really, but it's stuff like this that highlights the fact that sometimes the small stuff does matter and can cause you to sweat plenty.
So Friday James and Julie rec'd a letter in the mail from a long-lost brother. Excited? Through the roof. The letter was written in English and explained that he was doing well, had a job and a girlfriend, and was wondering how they were doing in America. A phone number was included, so obviously, we wanted to call.
We figured calling 10pm Fri would equate to 9am Saturday, Kazakhstan time. So here's how that went down.....
Attempt 1: Called the number written in the letter, but kept getting that shrill, migraine-inducing, "bee-bee-BEEP! We're sorry, the number you are trying to call...."
But then I remembered there is some top-secret international calling code or something, so I got on the trusty internet and looked up the code from US to Kazakhstan and tried again, but kept getting the beeps.
Then I realized there was a superfluous number in the brother's handwritten number, and so I tried again.
I got through! On the other end of the line was an older, deep-voiced Russky. I immediately threw the phone to James and he spoke to him for a minute in Russian. I didn't understand most of it, but caught his name, "Mama", America, and his brother's name.
But after a few seconds he hung up.
When I asked what happened he said it was some man that said Sasha (brother) was at work. Didn't say when to call back and started yelling at James.
Hmmm. This Mystery Man knew it was Sasha's brother. Calling from America. And then just started yelling at him? I don't get it. I don't get anything about it. But OK, we'll try again later.
Attempt 2: Called again at 10am Saturday, figuring it would be 9pm in Kaz. Surely, if his brother had left for work prior to 9am that morning, he should be home by now.
Made several attempts at calling the number, but kept getting a "full directory" message. Again, I don't get it, but I keep trying.
Tried again and got a girl, presumably Sasha's girlfriend, but as long as it's not the burly yelling man, I'm not asking any questions.
She told James that Sasha was at work. After 12 hours? OK. We were told to try again "the next morning" and he should be there.
Attempt 3: Called again 10pm Saturday (9am Sunday) and the friendly female voice said she couldn't hear us, to try back later.
Attempt 4: 1/2 hour later and we're on the phone again. Three or four "full directory" messages later we got through to Friendly Female again. James talked to her for a minute and then hung up. Sasha home? Nyet. At work. Try again.
Attempt 5: 10am Sunday we tried again (9pm Sunday). We got FF again. This time J is passed out dead b/c he stayed up all night long(6 friends over for a birthday sleepover). And poor Julie, her Russian is pretty rusty, but she did her darndest to converse with this woman. The gist she got was that Sasha was, yet again, not home.
Attempt 6: 9:30pm Sunday (8:30am Monday in Kaz) we attempted this once more. A woman that I thought was FF answered. I muttered my zdrastvyitze to her quickly and threw the phone at James (he's getting bruised at this point). He talked in Russian for a few moments and hung up. This time I learn that this voice did not belong to FF, but to some unkown woman who had no knowledge of Sasha or his whereabouts or when we could expect to get him.
I am taking bets on how many more attempts we will make before we:
a) get to talk to Sasha
b) end up adopting Friendly Female
c) get hit by the Russian mob (order placed by Burly Yelling Man)
d) Brother? What brother?
If you think we should keep trying, click the button.