Communication with a Romany brother from Bulgaria was actually more straight-forward. He spoke English to me; Russian/Bulgarian to Petru from Moldova; Russian and Romani to Eduard, a Romany brother from Moldova.
I made an instant connection with a lovely young woman from Romania when I asked for "pani" (water), one of the few words I know in Romani. Fortunately, it is the same in practically all Romani dialects.
And in the midst of all the Australians, British folks, and English-as-a-second-language speakers, it was a sheer delight to meet a man from the state in America where I was born. Someone who spoke my dialect!
Mary, born in Kalamazoo