So Kyle played Skyrim for the first time in forever.
It was hilarious.
Kyle agreed to watch Twilight with me if I rented it.
So I did.
Man, I love that movie.
People outside of our family just don’t understand…
Took the puppy for a walk yesterday. It was awful.
Thanks to the hurricane, our flight was cancelled and the earliest flight we could get is Tuesday. We’re stuck on the outskirts of town with only an incredibly expensive and time consuming way to get into town. We have nothing but the airport around us and wifi in the hotel is expensive. Delta paid for the hotel and two dinners and one lunch, but there’s no swimming pool or workout room. Not much to do. Oh- once you pay for wifi, it doesn’t work in your own room. Whatever y’all.
Lately I’ve been watching movies on the computer, sleeping, and eating. We watched Usain Bolt false start and get DQed today… Got chased by a pack of wild dogs (go Moscow!) and found some dead rats.
The big events of our days have and look to be eating and sleeping. Woo.
In a few hours I will be headed to the airport:( I’m going to miss this city. Alas, here is the summary of my last few days:
The dacha was awesome. We had a campfire out in the woods. Saw babushkas herding cows. Beautiful view of a church and the countryside. A babushka at the dacha told Katie she ate like a turtle and would not leave us alone about eating. She also didn’t like Katie not having a room to herself. Then, as we were leaving for good, she tried to give us a melon. What a country. The dacha itself was interesting. Kind of more what people think of when they think of Eastern Europe.
After we left the dacha, we went one stop over on the train to this kremlin/church structure thing. It was very pretty. Saw the only fountain in Russia that you can drink out of. It was a cross with water coming out of the sides. Pretty neat. Saw a bunch of orthodox priests. People were feeding the pigeons and the pigeons were literally climbing all over the people feeding them.
Felt like crap pretty much all day and I just wanted to get home. Once we got back I just hung out in my room and ate and did all kinds of updatey things like checking email. Grabbed food at Stardogs and was two rubles (about six cents) short and the lady would not budge! Whatever.
Had an interview for an internship and that went well. Then I had my language placement test with Maria. I was intermediate-mid before the trip and I’m intermediate-mid now. She said I improved, but it’s hard to move up. I’m happy with my progress.
A french girl named Camille moved in yesterday, so I took her to Red Square and Park Pobedi. She was very stressed because she had no phone, no passport (hers was only for 3 months and she was going to be here for 5. I’m not sure I understood her correctly, but whatever) Anyway, I felt bad because the city wasn’t as well-lit as it usually is and there’s an arena and bleachers in Red Square, so she couldn’t get the full effect.
Camille and I left Park Pobedi at 12:30 because the dorm locks up at 1. When we were two metro stops away from home, I look at my watch and it says 12:57. Whoops. Camille was freaking out and I was doing what I always do when someone freaks out- grin like the Cheshire Cat. She did not like that. She told me how she was worried before she got here that she wasn’t going to have anywhere to sleep her first night, then secured her room with no problems, and then was going to not sleep there because of me. I told her not to worry- all would be well. We get to the door and it’s not locked, so I think, “huh. Maybe the guard just won’t let us through the turnstiles.” Nope. He was asleep with the turnstiles open. Love this country.
Camille and a German guy in our building ran into me, Katie, and Alex as we were going under a переход. As we were standing there talking, a slightly intoxicated youth came up to me and asked me for two rubles to buy something or other. I gave it to him and he went and bought a cookie and beer. He came back and asked me if I spoke Russian. I said not really. He then asked if I was Russian. I said no. He did not believe this. I FINALLY LOOK RUSSIAN!!! even though he was drunk, I’ll take it.
Spent a lot of money today because I decided I didn’t want to exchange my currency since there were things I still kind of wanted to get people. Got quite a few neato things for quite a few neato people.
Italians are poopy- I found the perfect Putin magnet (only two stores had them and only one had the one I wanted), but a huge group of Italians were standing there doing a whole lot of nothing but taking up space and the cashier’s attention. Whatever.
Had our final group meal today. It was nice- Russian to the extreme. Maria thanked us and then presented us all with little things that reminded her of us. She gave me a cd of all the songs by a band I asked her about. 8.5 hours of music on one disc. Боже мой! (My god!) She’s so sweet. She got Baby Bear, Papa Bear, and Mama Bear Tolstoy’s “Three Bears.” Most people got some kind of old Soviet pin, stamps, or posters. All were very touching and sweet.
Went to Red Square today and there were these people doing tricks on horses. One guy rode them Roman style, one guy jumped from his horse and back up while it was running, one guy stood on the horse and cut things with a sword. Really neat
Huang, the Chinese kid who washed his passport, is going home to China instead of staying here for two weeks! Go team!
Spent three hours packing for home. Mostly moving things from one part of my room to another. Camille sat in my chair and laughed at me. I gave her a lot of the things I was leaving here like food, detergent, and clothes. I’m going to miss my blue hoodie, but she’s hopefully going to take a picture of her in it on Red Square in the snow, so all is well.
One of the things I bought was a wooden жар птица (bird of happiness) It’s really cool (see link below), but really fragile. I wasn’t sure how to get it home until Camille had an idea. Tie it to the top of my shapka (Russian fur hat)! I’m gonna look so baller in the airport!
Pictures later- I’m too tired to bother right now
Huang (Chinese kid) washed his passport, so he’s stuck here for an extra two weeks. Luckily, his dad’s company has a branch here, so he should have room and board, but still sucks. He and I grabbed food tonight after he got back from the embassy and he kept having to step outside to answer his phone. He felt so bad he bought me ice cream. He’s so sweet. Can’t wait to grab legit Chinese food back in the states with him.
Jenna and I went to ВДНХ today. It’s a park thing by the cosmonaut museum. It’s pretty, but we were told there’s an awesome market inside one of the buildings. Not such an awesome market. The buildings were awesome.
Then we went in search of the gulag museum. Thing is, it stops letting people in at 6, so we were rushing. Katie wasn’t sure where it was (and she told us before we left, so she wasn’t even there to go by sight), and was wrong about which street it was on. Took a Southern American to point us in the right direction. We got there at 6:05 after literally running up to it. Ugh.
Went to another book store today. Jenna bought HP1&2 and Twilight (ugh) all in Russian. I bought a Poe collection because I figured it was cheap and the stories are simple and short enough I could figure them out. Love E.A. Poe.
Just got off skype with my Russian friend Juliya. It was a little hard because she mumbles and her mic was kinda fuzzy, but she could type and it went well overall.
Found “Mosfilm Studio” something or other building while walking back from Patriach’s Ponds with Jenna. Pretty sweet, too bad we don’t know what it is haha.
Walked a lot today. These dogs be barkin.
Guess what’s in there. Wrong- a market. Almost black market.
Top of a museum. Looking at it from the right angle and their hands make the hammer/sickle cross thing.
Lots to talk about.
Friday: Grammar test went well- got a 5-. Went to this delicious Ukrainian restaurant. America needs to catch up on Russian food. Then we went to the graveyard of Soviet statues. It was cool, but a letdown. Then we walked hella far to get to a metro and went to the final Russian student get-together at Сокольники Парк. It was fun- played a Harry Potter trivia game and some ball throwing game (it’s not a real game, we were just competitively throwing a basketball around).
While walking through the metro station, I was playing with the basketball and hit a woman on the arm. Apparently she gave her boyfriend a “why didn’t you kill him” look. Haters gon hate.
Officially going to the dacha instead of Don Quixote. Hopefully I can at least get a third back for the thirty bucks I spent on the stupid ticket. Kelly apologized for cornering me into making the decision on the spot, but it’s not her fault.
Watched Rango and Boy Meets World when I wasn’t feeling well Friday night. It was fun and both were enjoyable. Love that BMW is still funny after so many years.
Saturday night Papa Bear and I went out because he was convinced I needed to try absinthe. Having tried it, I’m convinced otherwise. Maybe I’m just not meant to be a drinker, but I didn’t really get it. It was fun hanging out with him and hookah-ing for the first time. Had some difficulties with our waiter, but c’est la vie.
Studied like crazy this weekend for the awful test today. My ясми test went well- got a 5. Dunno how Rechi went, but I could not have been any better prepared for it without knowing exactly what to study, so I’m happy. Naturally, I was falling asleep during ясми, when I was supposed to be awake, but when I finished my test in Rechi and could sleep, I couldn’t.
Went to Old Arbat again today to get some shirts. Got one for me and my brother and then one for me. Love them. Did not get any shot glasses:( Cinnabon was delicious.
On Old Arbat there was a group of 14yr olds smoking and dancing. It was like a tournament or something. We watched for 45 minutes. Some were awful, a few were sweet, all used the same base of moves. My favorite dancer knew the songs fairly well and would actually do things specific to whatever song he was dancing to. He looked like a hipster/skater/nerd. Most American looking kids we’ve seen all trip. They kept juking us with good songs like “Bottoms Up” and we’d get all excited and then they’d change it. We got quite a few looks. Loved hearing them sing with the songs in English. Best line: “Get money!”
When we were joking about one girl who wasn’t the best dancer, someone said it looked like she was doing a rain dance. Katie then goes “can I get some дождь?[rain]” It may not be funny out of context, but it was a riot then.
Right by Old Arbat is one of the Seventh Sisters and we were told that it might be the one you can go up in, but it turns out it was a government building. Whoops. Still got up close to it.
Spent way too much money today:( All on good things, but still.
Bought two Timati cds. He’s a Russian rapper who has collaborated with Snoop Dogg and Xzibit, so he’s pretty big. Just glad that I finally got some Russian music! Oddly, when I went to buy the cds, the cashier asked for my student ID, so I got like 15 rubles off each cd. That’s about fifty cents. No complaints.
As we entered the metro and an officer came up to me, asking for my documents. So I pulled out my passport and he didn’t look at it, but just says “No. Documents. Do you understand Russian?” and I just said “a little.” And he just kind of shrugged me off and told me to go. Thing is: in Ясми, our teacher told us that if a cop ever stops us, pretend we don’t speak Russian because, chances are, they’re just trying to get money.
For our test in Ясми, we read an article and presented it to the class. Mine was about an anti-smoking law that has been proposed. Really strict: no smoking in pretty much any public place (including your front porch) and you can only buy tobacco in major retail centers (no more tobacco stands). Weirdest thing: at these major stores, you can’t display cigarettes- they’re purchased from a catalog.
Went to grab dinner with Huang and Katie last night. Huang told us there was a good, cheap place not too far, so we headed out for it. As we walked, I kept asking Huang about the place and all he told me was that it was creepy and cheap. He was correct on both accounts. What he left out was that it was delicious! We got a kebab wrap thing. So good.
My trip to Cali was canceled:( Oh well.
Statues in the graveyard
Statues called “Chairs” Very comfy
Seven Sister, Kremlin, Moskva Citi
I WANT A PET SQUIRREL. ONE OF THE RESTAURANTS HAD ONE…too bad that squirrel was cracked out
View from our kitchen. So peaceful. I love it. Gonna miss it like crazy.
Seven Sister from up close
Went to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. It was beautiful. Beautiful view of the city in all four directions. Spoke a little bit with a couple from Valencia, Spain. The man was telling us about how only Spain and Portugal understand siestas. We need those. Anyway, while we were up near the bell towers, they started ringing them. It was neat. And loud.
Spent a fair amount of money today, but also got a few good things: deck of cards for Mama Fox, sailor hat for my Halloween costume, and a figurine for my grandma.
Hopefully going to Baby Bear’s friend’s dacha (summer home) tomorrow. Sadly, as the plan stands now, I will miss the final get together with Russian students and s’mores! I feel extra bad since Maria got s’mores specifically for me. Thing is, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a big part of Russian culture. Get to ride on a slow train for like an hour out to the woods and hang out. Super stoked. At first, we thought we were going from Friday after the picnic until Saturday evening, which meant Eric and Katie would miss out on the Cat Theater. Anyone who was going to the theater was going because of Katie and Eric, so they were pretty angry. Instead, the current plan (who knows what will actually occur) is to go right after class and come back before the cat show. Worst thing: we were going to move the dacha visit to Wednesday night, but I got ballet tickets for Don Quixote that night. I chose Don Quixote over Swan Lake because Swan Lake was tomorrow- when we were going to be at the dacha. So moral of the story: we all could have been happy if we just came up with a plan. Oh Russia.
Test in Grammar tomorrow shouldn’t be bad, but then we have two tests on Monday. Yuck. Practical Conversations is apparently awful in test form. Fun fun fun.
Just got back from a grocery run- felt like a child because I bought candy, juice, and animal crackers. Whatevs- haters gon hate.
Finally went to the Cosmonaut Museum! I was left when people went like the second week, last week I went to Catherine’s Estate instead, but I finally made it! It was sweet! Yuri Gagarin is probably the badassiest Russian there is (aside from Putin). Jenna just made jokes about them never putting a man on the moon. Learned all kinds of fun new words. Followed an American family around. There were all kinds of interactive monitors and the American kid (probably 5ish) was just playing around on one (they’re all in Russian). So I went up to him and asked if he could read any of it, he ashamedly shook his head and ran away. Jenna and I kept talking in English near them to strike up conversation, but it never happened. Sad face.
According to all the spacesuits, Russians are lumpy.
Had text again today. I wrote in my journal last week that I didn’t sleep well one night, so I struggled in class the next day and Maria wrote “your teachers noticed.” Well I found out that my poor performance in text class isn’t because of my lack of sleep- I was more impressive asleep than awake. She has questions and expects really exact phrasing in the answers. With words we don’t know. So instead of letting us circumlocute it like any other teacher, she stops us as we’re trying to express ourselves and corrects us. Quite annoying.
Our Mass Communications teacher (we just call her Yasmee) was going over vocabulary and asked if anyone was a fan. I raised my hand and said of football. She asked what teams and I said OSU and the Browns. She laughed and said “you can tell he’s a fan because he’s usually dozing off, but when you ask him about football his face lights up!” so….win?
Test in video went really well- watched two videos and had to pick one. We could use dictionaries. She has pretty much told us she’s phoning in the class. I love it- we watch entertaining videos and learn useful words.
Lauren is going to Spain!! What a jerk! She had to decide between Barcelona or Athens. Her life is so hard…
Me and Yuri doin the Heisman
Wouldn’t be a Russian museum without Lenin…
Probs my favorite part of the museum: pictures from space. This is rain over Finland.
Last Yuri picture, I promise.
Kelly and I went to a Botanical Garden thing. It was pretty. Saw the TV tower thing lit up at night from above the trees. Very pretty. Spent like 4 hours on the Harry Potter wiki thing while people were napping and getting tickets to the Cat Circus.
Got a 28/30 on my presentation! Woo!
We have a test in Video tomorrow I think and then one in Practical Conversations next Monday. Video will be no big deal, nothin really to study for: watch a new video and talk about it. PC will be a pain: study like 30 idioms and all the stories we’ve done so far. Eek. Luckily the lower level has their test first, so we will hopefully at least have an idea of the format.
Had a lecture on Belief in Russia today. It was pretty neat. Then I napped and we went to an ice museum thing. Super sweet. It was like 200 rubles for about half an hour’s worth of stuff, but it was super sweet and totally worth it. Pictures will follow.
Yolki Palki for dinner. Delicious. Three kinds of pirozhok: egg and cabbage, mushroom and onion, and meat and onion. All really good.
Lookin forward to bein home, but also don’t want to leave.
Muggy and buggy of late. Ugh. Stormed for a jiff today. It was pretty.
SO STOKED FOR FALL AND FOOTBALL!!!
Only good picture from the Botanical Park. Realized my focus has been giving me fits ever since Jenna dropped my camera…
The outfits they had us wear in the ice museum
That’s a winged cow jumping over a vortex
Me and Alex P on an ice bed
Ice Block O
Penguin and Product Placement