Living in Moscow is bound to shake an English-speaker's complacency about the need to learn a foreign language. At least rudimentary Russian is required to break out of the expensive cocoon of an English-language-only existence. Basic Russian is invaluable not only for simply leading a somewhat normal life in Moscow, but it's also helpful in avoiding embarrassing situations. I realized that my Russian needed brushing up after I thanked the hostess at a dinner party for a very skuchno (boring) dinner when I really meant vkusno (delicious). It was again time to juggle Russian declensions, verbs of motion which I had studiously been avoiding, and the subtleties of the perfective and imperfective verb forms. In recent years, Moscow has witnessed a boom in the number of Russian language courses available to the non-native speaker, from the businessperson who could care less about Pushkin to the accomplished linguist looking for some fine-tuning.