Sunday, July 12, 2009

Six-Week Celebrity

Not a day goes by in which a little kid points at me and stares in fascination, a group of girls giggle and/or blow kisses, someone wants a picture, or someone asks me about rap/hip-hop.

This struck me more than ever yesterday when I was crossing the bridge over the canal outside my house. One of the many boat excursion tours was coming through and all off the sudden they started clapping and taking pictures of me. When I waved they got even more excited. Immediately after that a lady in a smaller boat on I guess a private tour saw me and when I waved she started to get really excited and wanted her boat tour person to pull over I think... I had to keep moving in the direction I was going though.

I would have never thought that because of my skin color and height and being an American that I would get so much attention here in Russia.

I'm writing this from Moscow by the way. The last few days have been really busy. I'll have to repost about them on here later. But yesterday I-

Went to another palace in Petersburg. It was really nice. The weather was beautiful and the park was so relaxing. I got to sit by the lake and dip my feet in the water. The Germans during WWII blew it up but it was restored and it was really impressive.

I came back and then that's when the boat celebrity thing happened.

Race in America is weird. It is almost impossible for me to explain to Russians that I'm not from Africa and I don't know where I am from in Africa. The first questions most cab drivers ask me is "из африканец"and I respond no. And then they ask where my parents are from in Africa and I say that they're not from there either. My guess is Most Black people in European countries are African and so a lot of people just assume that it works the same way in the United States... Not so much. Americans are of all colors and come from all over the world. So not just me but a person here with any skin color that's not white would be really annoyed with explaining their nationality/heritage.

I had a really good dinner with my host family. who I think is going to be leaving for quite some time. I'm not sure if they'll be there when I get back. My babushka was there and I told her in Russian that, "I have not seen you in a hundred years" and she thought it was really cute that I knew that phrase. I took a shower and got packed really quickly and headed towards the train station to go to Moscow!

The train ride was so incredible! Ever since I was a little and I watched Thomas and Friends I've always wanted to ride on a train for a really long time. I got my wish yesterday. It was better than I imagined. We (the students) had a good time. A lot of people brought drinks and we stayed up and just talked and had a great time conversing amongst ourselves. I think I was sexually assaulted cause one girl copped a more than casual or accidental feel on my knee/thigh. I don't know if I felt okay about it. Anyway I went to sleep at like 2am. I fell asleep listening to Mos Def's New Danger album and it was so appropriate. I suggest after reading this if you own that album listen to it. If you don't own it buy it.

We got to Moscow at 7am. And there was a lot that happened. I'll write about it later. I have a friend from Brown here that's working this summer. I'm sleepy. I did a lot in this enormous city today.

oh! wait! This hostel is sooooo incredible! It's so baller! It's way nicer than any hotel I could have stayed in! there's a huge TV everything is Westernized and the bed is so comfortable. For only 1000 rubles a night?! I'm so happy! this hostel makes the trip to Moscow completely worth it! I even have my own closet! and it doesn't smell like smoke here. I'll take pictures.

ok. bed time for Jimmy. Got meet up with Putin tomorrow at the Kremlin.

Stay Tuned.

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