I have been living on a small farm of a young family of down shifters for a while now. They left their comfortable manager-lives behind, sold their apartment and decided to raise their children on the countryside.
The farm consisted of two houses. One for the family, the other for friends and travellers.
People could come and live on the farm for work and contribution in return. It were two simple houses with two rooms each, a fireplace and if we were lucky there was running water.
The brother of the owner lived in the travellers house. His English had about the same level as my Russian. We didn’t say much, but we seemed to have the urge to communicate anyway.
I remembered when I was in the second grade, my sister and I had this silent game with a hanker chief. Since we could not talk in the classroom, we were having fun by putting the dirty fabric on each other's desks. The communication with my roomie was rather difficult, so we did something similar with a doll that the little girl had destroyed. He would wake up next to the Chucky-doll and I would scare my pants off when opening the closet to make some tea.
Without saying any words, we laughed away our mini-heart attacks. Just because of this silent action which we both understood.
The connection was made.
We would try to tell stories and jokes for hours to eventually conclude that we just had no idea what we were talking about. In the beginning, it was hard, because putting so much effort in explaining a simple phrase, can be very exhausting. Nevertheless, we were determined to interact, and after a while we sure did. Together we managed to make the puzzle with the words that I learned from him and he from me.
I have the feeling that if I would be able to stay longer, my Russian soon would be much better and I could maybe learn some cat-language too.
The cat of the house reminded me of Skrjimpuppe, a city-cat who got dumped by the owners on my dad’s farm. He arrived one week before me, and therefore still used to 'Whiskas' and loads of attention. He could only moan for food, not understanding where his soft warm couch had gone. Considering that we were in the same boat, we understood each other very well.
Apart from the fact he snored, he was pretty nice company in bed; and once again, a thing we had in common.
I was living in a house with a man and an animal, the three of us unable to communicate with our voice, but either way it felt like family.