I am finally settled into my room with my host family. Let me rewind a little bit:
We had our second (and last) day of orientation at the hotel, and most of our time was focused on discussing cultural differences, academics, internships, and homestays. It was a bit nerve-wrecking, and I think they should have covered more things like how to use public transportation, which is something they didn’t really cover at all.
Anyways, some of us met our host families at 17.30 (5:30pm) and the rest went “home” at 18.30. I was in that first group, and I cannot even describe how nervous I was for that! Fortunately it turned out that she is a very, very sweet woman. Not at all pushy or uptight, and not annoyed that my Russian isn’t the greatest. We’ve been talking a lot since she picked me up, and one of the first things she told me was that she has a very democratic family. Her son that I mentioned before: Ilia, lives at home, while she has another somewhere else. They’re both nice people, and I’ve definitely spent a lot of time in the kitchen talking to her about a lot of different things.
Speaking of kitchen, the food that she’s made is good, but I really need to find a gym and figure out how to pay for a gym, since health is expensive here I’ve heard.
Yesterday (Sept 8) the main part of the day was spent around visiting the Hermitage Museum, which was of course, awesome. Unfortunately I think most of us got so tired walking around we didn’t even know what we were looking at anymore. It’s probably a better place to go alone or with one other person.
Later on, we had the opportunity to meet up with Tatiana and Danya! It was kind of strange seeing them over here, but then again everything’s been strange so far, so might as well just go with it. We all met in this coffee shop and talked for a couple of hours until this weird drunk guy somehow wandered back to us and was asking that we buy some fan. Aha, ya. Strange indeed.
Overall it was a pretty nice time, and again, we’re the group with the most familiar faces it seems like, so it’s always comforting to be reminded of Lewis & Clark despite the fact that we are incredibly far away physically.
The good news is we did figure out the metro and make it home alive. I’m just excited to start school and figure out classes and such. I’m nervous for it, но всё будет хорошо.
P.S. I will start doing some cool travel book things in maybe a week when I figure out basically what I need to do and where I need to go.