Friday, July 3, 2009

Taboo Topic/Post Cards!

So I came across something incredibly interesting but I can't discuss it on here. I'll write a post about it when I leave Russia. The reason I haven't written in the past two days is because I was debating if I should mention it on here or not but for generally good purposes I will omit what I experienced for the time being.

If you're dying to know you can call or e-mail my mom though. She'll be more than happy to tell you what I'm talking about.

We had another excursion to the museum Wednesday. And I realized that the guy who gives us tours is not that bad or boring. He's actually really smart and teaches at Brown from time to time. I hope they will invite him back next year. On the way to the museum I saw a guy dressed in military fatigue with no arms on Nevsky prospect. He couldn't have been older than 30. I've lost count of how many amputees I've seen here. I'm getting discouraged about coming back to stay for a year because I feel like if I'm here long enough I might start losing limbs too.

I hung out with Sif on Wednesday too. He was wearing overalls, a train conductors hat, and shirt with a pattern on it and I realized that he looked almost identical to Andre 3000 (from Outkast). He says I'm not the first person to tell him that. When I think back on all the times we've hung out he does dress very similar to Andre 3K and he bears a striking resemblance to him.

We walked around Nevsky Prospect and and back towards my neighborhood discussing a wide array of topics on the way there. We stopped at this place called Теремок and I tried блины for the first time. It was really good! Блины is the Russian version of crepes and crepes are the French version of pancakes. I like блины more than both because it's not really sweet and I ordered a really good one with chicken and this apple cucumber sauce which was absolutely delicious! Czech beer is also delicious. These sketchy, random central Asian-looking people tried to sell me a "brand new" Nokia phone. It was actually really cool, looked futuristic and it looked really legit. I thinking about paying the considerably large sum of rubles they were asking for it but Sif stopped me and told me it was a scam. He explained that particular model of phone had some type of malfunction.

I introduced Sif to my host family and they were very impressed with how well he spoke Russian. He stayed here for a while and helped me do my grammar homework. I woke up the next morning and there wasn't any breakfast. And there wasn't any the day before that either. I guess my waking up schedule has become so erratic that most host mom has stopped trying. Some mornings I get up early to go to the gym and some days I sleep in really late like up until 30 minutes before class. My babushka has no qualms about opening coming in my room in the morning to wake me up for class though. Haven't seen her in a while. And Sonya is so adorable. She's learning to play the flute and because she's a kid I understand a lot of the things she talks about. Tanya on the other hand is still very much so in rebellion against me. She doesn't actively do things to make me feel unwelcome and at times she can be nice but she mostly just doesn't converse with me. I regret lying to her about how beautiful I thought her singing voice was.

Russians are an interesting group of people ethnically. My Russian language teacher. The younger one explained that all Russians have a little bit of central Asian ancestry. Which makes sense. I'm getting used to the dog smell. I still hate it and it's still terrible but I'm just now learning to deal with it. So the dog sits right outside my door right. Whenever I open the door to my room it creates a draft and it's like I'm fanning that smell right into my room! And because this place is so old no mater how much air freshener I spray the smell still seeps through the door and cracks in the wall. The head of my bed is right where all the smell comes in at too.

Also almost every Russian I've met always asks me if I've had any problems with skinheads since I've been here. I respond no. Then knock on wood. It's like after we've been talking for a while it's usually like the 2nd or 3rd topic I end up on with them after family, why I'm here, and hip-hop. It kind of disturbs me that they know how dangerous it is for Black people here. I'm safe. As long as I stay right here in the center of the city where there are always crowds of people then I'll be okay.

And the postcards will go out tomorrow! I'm putting them in envelopes cause I need them to get there quickly. Apparently it takes about 3 weeks for mail to get to the US from here. Don't worry I'll put stamps on the postcards in the envelopes and maybe try and get the people at the post office to stamp them for me. If you don't remember giving me your address within the last 2 months then I don't have it. So now would be a great time to e-mail or text it to me. Yes my US number still works here.

I'll write about Thursday/Todays events with the weekend stuff.

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