When we offered to collect a Russian friend from her Berlin home and drive her to the station, we were not quite prepared for her response. “That would be very good,” said Natasha, “but come early that we might sit together for a while before driving to the station.”
And so we did just as we were asked, and arrived at Natasha’s flat and sat with her for a few minutes before taking her to catch the afternoon train to Moscow.
Natasha, we have noticed, is quite burdened by the superstitions that come with her nationality. “No, please don’t leave your car keys on the table,” she pleaded, as we enjoyed a few moments of communal sedentary reflection in her dining room before leaving for the station. “Leaving keys on the table will only bring bad luck.”