New Season, New City

So it’s literally been a month or more since I updated this blog… since then I’ve traveled by train to and from Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held, flown back to America, saw my little sister graduate high school, hit DC for a night, and somehow ended up back in this crazy country. Welcome to Part II of Masha’s Grand Adventure (coming to a theater near you!).

This is turning out to be the extended tale of the three most interesting people I have ever been blessed to meet.  My nearest and dearest at this moment are my roommate Anissa, who has been mentioned before, and our suitemates Richard and Corey. Myself and Anissa suffered together (over the phone, mainly) these past four months, and our lovely gentlemen are the textbook definition of wetbacks, but suffice it to say the best days are ahead of us, and I can’t even imagine how they can possibly top the past week.

Living in the dorms is proving to be interesting, awesome, and horrible at the same time. Like I said, my dorm family here is fabulous and I love them already. Living right of off Nevsky Prospekt in the center of downtown is convenient – right next to the university, lots of cafes and restaurants, of course the famous Dumskaya street filled with bars and clubs – but at the same time, how can you say no to all the opportunities? Everything is literally at our fingertips/a ten minute walk away past picturesque canals, churches, and monuments. Its honestly overwhelming. But this whole ‘feeding myself’ thing is not quite as fun. I buy bananas and yogurt, I saved and refill a water bottle from the filter in the dorm, we have a cheap cafeteria around the corner, but using our 300 rubles (approximately $10) a day is actually somewhat difficult. Moreso because I can’t cook for myself, and eating out gets old very quickly.

Let’s talk about some ridiculous things though. First, the white nights.

Byelyi Nochi or “White Nights” are famous worldwide for their exclusive appearance in St. Petersburg in the summer. No other (inhabited) city has such a phenomenon. There is a few hours of semi-twilight around 2 or 3 AM, but for the most part it looks like a bright afternoon. Talk about disorienting.

Second, WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THESE COTTON FLUFF THINGS?

There is a disturbing amount of fluffy pollen things floating around in the breeze, so much so that clumps of them on the ground could be described as “snowy.” It’s doing wonders for my allergies. But really, its worth mentioning.

Other than this, life here is like a fairy tale. I think this is what people mean when they say they want to “go abroad.” All it consists of is a few classes and then playing around in the sun for the rest of the time. I’m so glad I spent the entire semester here as well, and not even HERE, but in Vladimir, which I consider to be a much more accurate representation of the way Russians live. There is just so much money in Peter, and even more in Moscow. Bentlys and Beamers casually parked on sidewalks as if by a drunken 15-year-old make me shake my head. If this much wealth is here, how much poverty are we not seeing? Students can live here pretty cheaply, depending on your living situation, but for the average citizen everything is ABSURDLY EXPENSIVE.

I will now leave my soapbox to do some homework and prepare for what promises to be a wild Friday night, as per usual. More on the opera, etc later! I’ll leave you with this adorable group shot for now…

Looking fabulous for the opera!

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