There is this lovely song by ( I think?) Palestinian children called Blyadi. I believe it means a 'motherland'. Or my country. Something pure and innocent, really.
However, the song makes any Russian speaker giggle. Because the word blyadi translates as something in between a slut and a whore. Not sure, to be honest.
To be technically correct, blyadis is a plural form f a blyad, which is a single...well, blyad.
(Note: I appreciate, this is very immature. I am not sure if other people around the world do the same, but Russian speakers do- an awful lot. We giggle like idiots at road signs and shop names abroad, which sound phonetically rude in Russian.)
Just in case you are a Russian speaker, and for some reason you have not seen this video, I feel obliged to share it with you. Enjoy.
In the meantime, with your permission, I am going to use this rather rude Russian word for the purpose of this story.
I have realized recently that blyadis, a bit like gay people, have a sort of built-in radar for each other.
We were discussing with a friend this morning how, being an expat turns you into a rather good and very quick judge of character. You simply can't afford much time wasted getting to know people to learn what they are like. You have to move fast. You meet someone, glance at them, exchange a few words and decide if that person is worth any effort. If it is your kind of person. Also, because there are (sadly) so many weird, strange, boring or simply very, and (oh, my god) i mean painfully stupid people amongst expats-from all over the world...you really have to work hard filtering and pruning.
But... back to blyadis. One night, I happened to go out with a bunch of other mummies and expat wives on a nice dinner in a very pleasant restaurant. Everything was lovely, and the company was...well, okay I guess. And, there was this one Eastern European girl. (There are actually, quite a few Eastern Europeans and ex-soviets here.) And straight away, I felt she was definitely not my kind. Nice, yes. Pretty? Sure. Young? Very...But besides all that, there was this unmistakable cheap aura about her. Things she said, jokes she shared, men she glanced invitingly at, and the laughter, that laughter.. Nope, I thought. Sorry honey. You are not going on my Facebook friend list.
And we lost touch despite her attempting to contact me a few times. But, thanks to some mutual friends, I kept an eye on her social life in Doha- via Facebook, of course. Only to notice that, in a matter of weeks, the young lady managed to gather some friends- of a very similar kind.
Really, it gave me this warm feeling inside. Look, I thought, how blyadiness works miracles. There are no cultural boundaries, no language barriers. Check it out, I thought to myself, looking at this girl and her new girlfriends, posing in the photos, lifting their legs up, hugging each other passionately for the camera; pouting their lips.... One Oriental, with dark long hair...one blond with blue eyes...and yet, what an amazing, striking similarity! I mean- wow. Two completely different people, from totally different countries and cultures with one important element in them which brought them together. Blyadiness.
Blyadiness is like joining a church or a club. A free ticket to instant new friends you have something in common with. Blyadiness brings you together, no matter where you are from or what language you speak.
Having a good friend is important to all of us, but for blyadis it is crucial. Especially in a country where most expat women are busy either going to work or raising children ( or supervising a maid doing so)...But a blyadi in a search for a new man needs a company to blyadi around in. It would be impossible to go out blyading by yourself, really.
In any case, I was happy to see this girl enjoying herself. I was a bit concerned that she would find it difficult to get new friends here, in Doha. But, as the photos indicate...blyadis exist everywhere. And they always find each other, no matter what.