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Chapter 11
A Crazy Russian

One Saturday, I come back to the student hotel at 4 p.m. Lunch is over and all the tables are clean. I go to the fridge and take a beefsteak and boiled beans. I go to the microwave oven and warm the food. I wash some tomatoes and cucumbers. I take all this to a table. Then I take some orange juice to drink.

When I am having my lunch, a student comes up to me. I know him. He is from Nepal. He can speak a little Russian. We begin to talk about Russia and the Russians. In the middle of the talk, he says that I don’t look like a Russian. I ask why. He says that all the Russians are crazy. They drink a lot of vodka and do stupid things.

I am surprised. But I say that I can drink vodka and do stupid things, too. He doesn’t believe me. He says that I can’t, for example, jump into the hotel swimming pool in my clothes. I say that this is easy. We have a bet. I have a beautiful Texas belt buckle on my belt. He says that he has a UT belt buckle in his room. If I lose I am going to give him my belt buckle. If I win I am going to take his belt buckle.

I have nothing in my pockets: only my student ID and keys. But the ID is plastic and the keys are metal. So I am not afraid for them. I also know that I have dry clothes in my room. I go to the swimming pool. There are other students near it. They are sitting at a table and talking. I say hello to them and jump into the water nicely. Then I swim to the other end of the swimming pool and get out of the water. Everyone is surprised.

I smile at the students and go to my room. They think I am crazy. But I don’t care. I am going to get a new belt buckle! Five minutes later, I go down in dry clothes. My friend from Nepal gives me the belt buckle. It is in the shape of a longhorn (a cow with long horns). It is UT’s symbol. But I don’t like it at all! It is ugly. I take it. Then I go to the students who are sitting near the swimming pool. I tell them about my bet. They understand everything. “Let’s drink to your victory! Do you have vodka?” they say…


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