In my hurry and excitement with newfound technology, my blog post for Monday was rather lacking. Upon my triumphant return to the apartment, which included getting off at the right bus stop, I found Tatiana waiting for me, with tea in the pot. This is only my third night here but she began our nightly ritual the first night at dinner. We drink tea (I have an assigned mug) and she, having noticed early on that I am in the habit of drinking too quickly and burning my tongue, brings me my ‘malenkaya chaika’ and pours half of my tea into it to cool off. Then we each have a cookie, which is dipped in gratuitous amounts of her homemade jam. Which sort of tastes sugar-free, but in a natural or organic way? Which would make sense, if you make it yourself. But then again, every other foodstuff with a remotely sweet quality to it is sugared beyond belief, so it could really go either way.
Look at me, with a WiFi connection and my chai! Could basically run the world now. So this is the first day in a what feels like a lifetime that I’ve regained connection with the outside world. While I learned how to do this very well last summer, it’s not something that does good things to my psyche. So this is a really good thing. Starting tomorrow I’ll have my own personal modem, so connecting won’t be a problem from here on out hopefully.
Today was our first day of classes, which I was both excited for and dreading. Dreading mainly because of the Russian style testing that takes place. By that I mean you’re individually called up to the front and questioned in front of God and everyone. Much more low-key than it sounds, trust me. Classes will be the five of us, and I’m really psyched for the semester now. I managed to be the first one to class, even though I arrived with only 5 minutes to spare and live the farthest away. Elena Vladimirovna was horrified to hear that I made it all the way to school by myself, since Tatiana had work, but apparently that’s not ok… Still, at school, on time, brought my own chai, once again, small victories.
As its late and I’m currently residing in McDonalds, there’s not much more to say, but my goals for tomorrow are to mail some letters, buy a brown sumka (purse) (for matching purposes, obviously), and check out our local bar ‘Guinness’. One day at a time!
would almost say that keeping this detailed of a record is more taxing than actually being a stranger in a strange land, but it’s just not.
Sunday morning: A day to sleep in, which I did, but also to discover if you’re in fact worth your salt. Thus far, I am. Today I managed to tackle the hot water heater, which you have to turn on separately from the cold water (which is always on) because it costs more and the pipes leak. Tanya left around 8 for the store I assume, and I ended up getting up soon thereafter. When it became apparent that the hot water was not in fact connected, I decided to do everything else that I needed to do in the morning, and wait for her to return. After about an hour of stalling, I decided it really couldn’t be that difficult. I mean the pipes are color coded! And 90 degrees C means ‘hot’. So I know that much.
All I can say is that these people have study abroad programs down to a science. As we disembarked the bus, a veritable army of babushki ambushed us. ‘Света? Какая Света?” “Мери?” After having been identified by my own personal babushka, given my cell phone by Jack and a list of all of our numbers, still dazed and confused mind you, I was whisked into a taxi and taken away into the great Russian unknown.
So I’m thoroughly enjoying my bus ride to Vladimir. I have to say how utterly impressed I am at the snow removal systems here… Literally plows EVERYWHERE. And the streets are clear!