Sunday, June 21, 2009

Мой Отец (My Father)/Fatherhood

Happy Father's Day Dad! The first part of this blog is just for you. Just a list of a few things I've noticed in Russia that you might be interested in.

Logging here is really slow and primitive. I was watching a news report on some logging going on not far from Petersburg and they were using outdated equipment and it's hard to find workers. I saw a loader that moved only one tree at a time by grabbing it longways. Logging here would be better but it's so cold that you can only cut 2 or 3 months out of the year. I talked to Sif about it and he said that Russia would have a lot more money if they could cut trees at least 2 or 3 more months out of the year. And because the wilderness is so vast and uncharted there's a lot of loggers that get in trouble for cutting into government or private land. The Russian word for lumberjack is лесоруб. les-or-ub.

Sports in Russia are major. I had the most difficult time ever trying to explain baseball to my host family. They were really interested in how it was played. The most popular sport is soccer. And at the gym I've joined I've seen a lot female tennis players working out. They take their training really seriously. I'm sure some girl in there will be the next Anna Kournikova. Playing basketball in Russia is simple. The only defense I've run so far has been a zone. At first it was hard to orient myself to the post position cause the lines are slightly different but I figured it out. And boxing is also semi-popular.

And finally! I know you like to explore when you go to a new city so I bought a guidebook that let's me fill in all the places that I've been and make my own maps. I've recorded the addresses and metro stops of all of the interesting places I've been. And if you ever decide you want to travel here I've got a book filled with all of the best places to go!

Regularly scheduled blog starts here.

Happy Fathers day to my boy Sif! He told me on Friday that he's actually a father to a seven month year old Russian girl. He's very proud of her and he showed me pictures and everything. I now understand why he works so hard. He has a family to support. That's right. He's also married to the mother. And I know what you're wondering. Is she white? Yes. She is. According to him her parents accept him and he's had no problems. The daughter even has his patronymic name. He doesn't want to raise the baby in this country so after he finishes his Masters he's going to move to somewhere like Australia or Japan and develop his programming.

We had an amazing conversation Friday about Russia, Zimbabwe, and just life in general. He has some very interesting views on Mugabe. The party that is opposing Mugabe is backed and funded by the British... If you want to know more about that e-mail me. And whenever someone would say something in Russian at the bar he'd ask me if I understood. If I didn't he'd explain. He told me where I could get a haircut! Which I am eternally grateful for. He calls me Jimmy and so do other Russians. I'm Jimmy to Russians that speak British English. I'm James to only a handful of people and Russians that just speak Russian call me Женя (Zhenya).

Happy Fathers Day once again to everyone!

Stay tuned.


  1. That Sif guy is getting more and more suspicious. Like for example, if he has a family, when does he have time to be hanging out at all hours with you? Why's he not home with his wife and kids he's so dedicated to? Also, the devil himself might be a better ruler from Zimbabwe than Mugabe. Anyone who tells you differently is someone you should run not walk away from. James, I'm telling you, be very careful with this guy.

  2. ... in other news, you look really cute with that 'fro. What happened?