Breaking Dawn

Всем привет!

Как у вас дела? Я надеюсь, что у вас все хорошо! Очень скучаю по Америке, но скоро вернусь домой! Что нового с вами?) Здесь холоднее и холоднее…Ну что? Это Россия.

My week has been absolutely packed with things to do. So much that I didn’t go to class Friday because I’ve just been overly exhausted. Everything has been going well though. This past weekend I had a special treat from Nina and Troy who came to visit me over here in the Motherland. I hope they enjoyed their time here, and it was so nice having visitors from home. I’m not quite sure of the impression they got of Russia or of my current life here, but hopefully everything went smooth enough.

They got in Sunday night and for the rest of the week I tried to show them as much as I could (of the really important things). Monday after class I met them on Nevsky and showed them The Church On Spilled Blood as well as Kazansky Cathedral, and then we went and met up with my awesome conversation partner, Nikita for dinner, cafe food, and some chatting. I mentioned Nikita before in a video. He’s a really great person, and I know it’s always nice for Troy and Nina to meet foreigners and learn more about the world. It was a long night of chatting, and Nikita definitely got his fair share of English practice.

On Tuesday we went to the Hermitage since that is definitely a “must-see” type of place. We did a lot of walking on this day, and I’m glad we managed to find the two pictures that Leonardo Da Vinci drew in the museum. I can say, however, that it was really cool bumping into Margo (a fellow student) on her volunteer shift at the entrance and then being in the museum long enough to see them turn the lights off and lower the curtains for the night. Once we headed out, I walked them over to Vaska (the island I live on). It’s a beautiful walk (I think) across the bridge by the Hermitage. We saw the tip of the island and then walked to a bar for some drinks (it’s still odd that I can actually say that here) and then ate in a restaurant. In between the bar and restaurant we walked back to my apartment to pick up some things I wanted Nina to take home and we bumped into my host brother as we were leaving. Not really a lot of time to become acquainted, however they did meet him.

Wednesday, I’m hoping was the best day for them. Before they came, Nina asked me to get ballet tickets at the Mariinsky Theatre if I could, and I did manage to get them online for two ballets: Karmen and Youth and Death, as it’s called in Russian. At first I wanted to keep it a surprise, but then I figured there was really no way to do so, so I ended up telling them about the tickets. We visited my school first (after I finished my last class, I met them at Cherneshevskaya) and we walked back to see Smolny Cathedral and my classes. Hopefully they enjoyed the little tour. After this excursion, we went to the ballet. From Nina’s reaction, I’m guessing she was extremely happy, and I’m glad that it turned out as planned. It was an interesting show, but now I can also say I’ve been in the Mariinsky!

Thursday. Unfortunately this was our last day together. After class, Nina, Troy, myself, and my host mom Lubov met up to walk around in the Russian Museum of Ethnography, which shows early life in different parts of Russia and surrounding countries. After this we went to a restaurant on Nevsky my host mom recommended and then back to the hotel, where we had some tea and chatted for a bit more. It was definitely an interesting experience being a translator, and I hope that both parties will give me some credit for doing my best. I don’t think I speak either language fluently, and it’s funny to see how my English has changed because of how I think when I speak Russian. It was naturally hard to say goodbye, but now I know that I only have one month left here, and it’s going to go by very quickly!

Friday. As I mentioned- didn’t go to class this day. That may sound terrible and look bad, but I took a lot of time using my Russian practically throughout the week, and because of all the places we covered, it was very difficult waking up after only 4 hours of sleep each night. However, I did go out a bit later and meet up with Tamari and Alyona. I had my first experience eating sushi in Russia, and I’m praying that nothing comes up later. Who knows where their fish comes from…it’s certainly not Russian. Afterwards Alena left us and Tamari and I went to watch a movie. ALTHOUGH I am very glad to have seen a movie in Russian, it was not my choice, and would not have been my first pick. I think you all know by the title of this blog post what that film was. Yes, I watched the last part of the Twilight series in Russian. To be honest, it may have been better than in English. But I’m in no position to compare the two.

Oh! I forgot to mention that before Alena headed out, we went to this Swedish store called Stockman, and I bought peanut butter!!! It was amazing! The only place you can buy it apparently. The cheapest one they had was around 7$ and the normal American brand Jiff or Jiffy, whatever it’s called, was about 15$! (I didn’t buy that one) But I’m happy- I now have a jar of overly-priced American peanut butter in my room. Ah, the small things in life.

Anywho. I met up with Birgitta in Coffee House after all of this excitement and caught up on life experiences in Russia. Overall I would rank it as a pretty good day!

Today- Saturday– also went a bit like yesterday. I didn’t head out till around 18.00 (6pm) to meet up with another friend of a friend (that seems to be a thing here). It’s always interesting meeting with individual people, and I think I would recommend it for people studying abroad. Instead of meeting in huge groups, meeting one on one is a lot more memorable and in my opinion makes it more interesting to get to know others. We went to eat dinner and I helped him with some of his English work (which makes me think a lot more about how I speak in English), and then I headed home!

All in all my weekend was a really great time for me to really use Russian in a normal way, and I think that I’m getting by pretty well. Tomorrow my host mom is taking me to some souvenir market where we can look for….something… that she wanted to show me….? I forgot what she said, but I guess I’ll find out zavtra!

I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was wonderful, and if you participated in Black Friday, you didn’t trample anyone in the process. I miss everyone and can’t wait to be home!

Vsego Dobrogo!

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