Foreign to me = exotic. My lacquer box portrays the Firebird, a legendary Russian creature resembling our fairy tale Phoenix.
The Firebird comes straight out of a Russian fairy tale, and Russia to me — for many reasons — is as exotic a country as I’ve ever been to. I felt like I was in a fairy tale sailing down the Volga in the autumn past miles and miles of white birches with yellow leaves — Riding in a troika, burrowed in fur blankets, speeding through a snowy landscape—
Not to mention spending twenty minutes trying to figure out street signs in the Cyrillic alphabet when I finally realized that Pectopah spelled restaurant — The most exotic touch of all!