I’ve been writing this blog regularly for a few months now, and an attentive reader has probably built up some kind of picture of the girl behind the keyboard.
For those who don’t take careful notes every time I post anything, I thought I’d try and sum myself up. Give you a bit of context and that. However, as anyone who’s ever tried to write a CV knows, describing yourself in a couple of paragraphs is a pretty colossal task.
Where do you even begin?
Then, in bed last night, I remembered something – an event which, I think, tells you absolutely everything you need to know about Ro Daniels (ie yours truly).
It was March. I was living with a Russian host family in St Petersburg, and the weather was testing my physical endurance: it was -25 out with wind chill. The streets were slathered in sheet ice; walking to the bus was treacherous; standing outside was suicidal.
I let myself into the flat, frozen stiff from the two minute walk from the bus stop, draped in piles of clothes, eyeballs feeling more solid than normal. I felt like my legs, covered in a mere two pairs of trousers, had been skinned with a blunt knife.
The flat was mercifully warm and there was a delicious smell coming from the kitchen. My host mum, an angel constantly concerned that I didn’t eat enough, offered me a bowl of soup.
We sat at the kitchen table together, she drinking a cup of coffee, me hunched over my soup so the steam melted my frozen eyebrows. We chatted about the weather, about politics (a delicate topic that I always tried to avoid), about Russian books she thought I should read. I felt perfectly at home, and the soup and conversation warmed my heart and tummy.
Then, I saw it. In the soup. A spider. Quite a big spider, meaty. Legs curled up like a fist. And, dear reader, here comes the part of the story that tells you about me.
Reader, I ate the spider.
Not only did I eat the spider, I didn’t even think for a second about what I could do to avoid it. Like, I could have politely said, “Zoya, there’s a spider in my soup.” Or I could have just, I don’t know, not eaten the fucking spider. I could’ve left it in the bowl, or delicately picked it out when Zoya, my host mum, was looking at her phone.
No, it never occured to me for a second that there was another option; as soon as I saw the spider I accepted my fate, and my fate was to dine on insects rather than experience a, at the very worst, slightly embarrassing situation.
I hope you feel like you know me better now. I am Ro, eater of spiders.