Thursday, July 16, 2009

Бабушка и Я (Grandmother and Me)

**skip the details and find these asterisks if you don't want to read some non-cohesive nonsense.

So things aren't as bad as what they were when I posted that overly dramatic post this morning. I was just frustrated cause I stayed up all night and didn't do nearly as much work as I wanted to and then I kind of slept in and went to class really late.

Today was pretty typical. I did well in both of my classes. I'm behind on a lot of the homework but I'm going to take care of all of it on the way to Novgorod (I can never pronounce that name) tomorrow.

Right now I'm FINALLY finishing up postcards. Promise. Cross my heart this time. And working on this midterm too.

It just hit me that tomorrow is my last week here (for this summer) I am going to take advantage of every opportunity I get before I leave here. But! Back to the topic at hand! My day.

Everyone at school was kind of worried cause my friend that I joined the gym with dislocated his knee there yesterday. He texted me first and I wanted to go see him yesterday but I couldn't find the hospital. I just sent him a text right now.

I came back on the metro and sent out a few e-mails but then started working. I had dinner with my host grandmother (бабушка) and we talked. I noticed she was wearing two Crosses. I think she's actually Christian. We talked in Russian and dinner was really good. I told her that I was going to go with my school to Novgorod this weekend. I always mispronounce the word though. It came out as the Russian words for New Years. It was kind of funny.

After dinner I got my laundry out and it's now hanging all over my room. And I've been sitting here scribbling out my last few post cards and working on this midterm.

Since I've been in Russia I've seen some things that I really like. I like the fact that parallel parking is practically non existent. As a matter of fact people here actually park on the sidewalks. Which I think proves my theory. Small states like Rhode Island you have to squeeze in everywhere. A big state like Texas there's so much space there's no need for parallel parking. I actually failed that on my exam and till this very day probably cannot successfully parallel park. Here it's the same way. You just pull up to the curb (or on it) and park.

No one has a cell phone bill here. At every metro and almost every corner store or any public space there is a machine in which you add rubles to your cell phone. 100 rubles usually lasts a while. I kind of like this system. At these machines you can also pay for your internet and television as well. They're really convenient and something very different from anything I've seen in the United States.

I've also seen a lot of Gothic kids here. Which I think is extraordinarily strange. What breeds that type of culture? Why dress up in dark clothes and wear spiky jewelry and basically look like a circus sideshow act? It is beyond me. But not beyond the United States. I thought it was just an American teenager thing but apparently it's not.

Back to babushka. Apparently she lives in Israel 9 months out of the year and helps one of her daughters with her children there. I think someone finally took out the dogs old dirty pillow/sheets he's been sleeping... I mean dying on outside of my room. It doesn't smell so bad here anymore. There's still a smell. And it'll be on my clothes and luggage when I get back to the states so you can see for yourself that I'm not making this up.

Oh yeah! Yesterday I also met one of the Harvard professors here! It turns out that I've actually read some of her work before! She really took a liking to me as we rode the metro together and I told her about my research and she thought it was fascinating. (crossing fingers for Harvard grad school) Anyway, she's really nice and hopefully I'll get to talk with her more before I leave.

So the bus we're taking for Novgorod leaves at 8:00 am tomorrow. Typically I've been the last one to make it to the bus for our excursions (no fault of my own) but I'm determined to be there early.

Things have gotten really mixed up and crazy these past couple of weeks. Without my gym membership I kind of have been thrown off schedule and I've got a 4 inch stack of grammar homework that I need to finish. Plus I keep writing a few postcards. Stopping. Putting the addresses on them. I'm doing a lot basically. Okay. So my blog today is sloppy. Very sloppy. I'm going to attempt to better connect my thoughts on the posts from this weekend.

**The official word is: Everything is cool! I've got plan as to how I'm going to manage my time for my last week here so that I satisfy myself, my teachers, and everyone else. And I like living here with my Babushka. And that's it.

Stay Tuned.

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