“Ya ne ponimayu.”
No matter how many times I repeated that phrase (and with a smile), the guys in the Lada kept speaking Russian to me. “Guys, I don’t understand!” I guess they believed that with enough persistence, I would finally give in, admit I do speak fluent Russian, and have a conversation with them.
But here’s the irony of saying “I don’t understand” in a foreign language. By saying it, you are speaking the language, and people think you do speak the language, so they keep on going. It’s a vicious cycle!