At a cafe near Ocean Beach, not far from where the kite surfers were ripping across the waves,
I spotted this reader, reading the French author, Juliette Benzoni. In French, the book is titled Dans le Lit des Reines. In English that translates into In the Bed of Queens. In Russian, the title the reader had in his hands, it's ночные тайны королев, which directly translates as (I think) The Mysterious Nights of Queens.
I'd studied Russian in college and lived near St. Petersburg for a year and a half, so it was a great excuse to practice speaking Russian, something I don't have a chance to do very often. So, even though the Russians in San Francisco usually insist on speaking English, I tried to ask my questions entirely in Russian.
So, instead of "What's your favorite book in the whole world?" I asked "Chto vasha lyoobimaya kniga v fso mirye?" and he didn't answer. So, I said it again, and again and he said, in English, "I understand!" Of course, everyone has to have a minute to think about a question this important.
He answered that he likes a lot of books and then made a decision. His favorite book in the whole world, coincidentally, is the same as mine -- Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov, about Moscow in the 1930s, where pigs can fly.
Afterwards, I went for a walk on the beach - my reason for going to the neighborhood in the first place - and took pictures of the kite surfers and this picture of the sunset.
Posted by sonya worthy at Monday, January 13, 2014