08.06.2009 - 14.06.2009
So I thought I should start off my tirade of excruciatingly long updates
Good luck guys!
So firstly I thought I should let you guys know that I am, as I write, eating in true Russian style, (British students in Russia-style would be more accurate), a crisp (smetana and luk no less) sandwich (on black bread of course). And more authentically have drunk lots of chai. I have already eaten a cabbage soup (complete with dill) and a hot bread (and no, it wasn't toast) cheese sandwich smothered in dill, though maybe that goes without saying, and mayonnaise. Russia has not changed. At all.
I have also drank almost 3 entire large cartons of cherry juice in 3 days. I will probably be toothless and pink by the time I arrive home. It's SOOOOO good.
I left on Sunday at 3 o’clock in the morning from the Chesh (no sleep) and started my mammoth journey on a plane to Petersburg. I finally arrived off the bus/metro at the train station (not one person helped me with my case grrrr) at 6 o’clock (Russian time) and had FOUR hours to sit by my case/rucksack and not fall asleep. My god it was not successful. I think the people next to me thought I was drunk/stoned since I kept dribbling (I hope this is an exaggeration), opening my eyes and shaking myself (this is not an exaggeration). At one point I went as far as dropping my book on the elderly lady next to me as I fell asleep in my zombie position. She moved very soon after that.
I actually think I have become more assertive since my last trip because when someone pushed in front of me in the queue (shock horror) I, instead of succumbing to British politeness, gave him an evil look and…(wait for it)…he APOLOGISED and stepped back. I would have given myself a pat on the back if I hadn’t been recovering from the shock! He then stuck up for me later when someone else did it but she wasn't so polite and pushed in anyway. PLUS, I managed to collect my train tickets without one single familiar “What? I don’t understan., SPEAK RUSSIAN!"
I eventually got on the train but as I was in British mode I kept smiling at people whenever they made eye contact. I fear, this earned me the reputation as the weirdo on the train. Either the weirdo or the durochka (idiot). As you may or may not know, smiling a lot is a sign of stupidity/mental illness in Russia.
Shockingly, as I leapt off the train, one of my platscartni (cheapest class) bunk buddies refused point blank to let me carry my suitcase and chivalrously marched off with it and found my khoz (host lady). This was a pleasant surprise as my arm had had enough of wheeling around my summer wardrobe.
Anyway long story short…I fear I am rambling…I am in Petrozavodsk staying with a lovely lady (she chats more than me…I occasionally switch off) who mostly doesn’t mock my Russian (though there was a pisha pizza incident) and I have a washing machine (brand=chaika (seagull) 3 haha), a KETTLE and this time there is only one rug in my room! And its on the floor not the wall! Score! The shower is even hanging on the wall.
I was slightly mocked however for ringing Tatiana and saying I was lost. I got mocked because it turned out I was in fact stood outside the flat.
N.b. since I wrote that last bit my khoz has started to not understand anything I say which is interesting seeing as two days ago she did. Think I need to work on my pronunciation…she went as far as to make me repeat the number 9 seven times before she told me it would be better if I said it in English because she just doesn’t understand me (she speaks no English and pronounced nine ‘nibe’ so not entirely sure that was such a good suggestion). How wrong can you say devyat?!!!! However, in general she is being quite nice and chatty. Its just the khoz way I guess.
So I’ve been going to meet with the people (where I will work) and they have given me my hours which so far are insane. Everybody seems really nice there and are all around my age. Though all are married, except one who is getting married this summer. Different way of life I guess...though I'm rather happy unbetrothed myself at the moment...
Anyway back to the work schedule. It turns out that when the camps are running which thank God isn’t in July, Tue and Thurs will be 11-12 hour days and the rest 8-10 hours. Plus some hours at the weekend. Plus I have to prepare all the classes myself. Phew! All will be well I'm sure. Oh, and I have to teach beginners French in Russian.
Also I went for a run today and it was not fun. I practically choked on the car fumes (worse than in Birmingham would you believe) and everyone stared at me like I was a crazy prostitute because I was in shorts in the rain. The two other people I saw running were in tracky bottoms, fleeces, scarves and hats. It’s 15 degrees. And I’m the crazy one…?!