A few people have expressed some concern for me over the situation in Ukraine, and the West and Russia's reactions, but no need to worry! I have not seen anything that made me feel uncomfortable or in any kind of danger and I don't think there will be anything like that in the future. It is highly unlikely that my program would be compromised by this issue so I'm just enjoying being at the center of an interesting political event!
The weather is getting a little bit warmer now so I've been able to walk slowly outside and enjoy the city a little more. I've been discovering lots of adorable cafes and beautiful streets and just soaking in the sunshine.
My Russian classes have been a little...unstable thus far, but yesterday I tried out a new class and I think that's where I'm going to be the rest of the semester! It's actually made for heritage speakers who know almost no grammar and have no writing skills, so it's a different kind of focus, but it will force me to build my vocabulary very quickly because they all know so much!
So I have some pictures and a few stories to share with you guys, check it out!:
So yeah, I was shocked because that would not happen in America, I was a little bit annoyed because I had waited so long for nothing, and super happy because obviously! I really do know my stuff, though. Seriously, ask me (almost) anything about the basics of international trade and economic law and I'll knock your socks off =p
|Pretty harsh, but I totally understand this comic now!|
So my apartment building is very typical for the Russian city center, a few apartment blocks that circle a central courtyard (called a "well" in Russian because sometimes the buildings are so tall the light never reaches the ground). The other day I came home from school and one of the few cats who like to hang out in the courtyard was sitting by the dumpster licking himself with pride and right next to him? A big fat juicy dead rat. Yum. Anyway, I'm guessing the cat caught the little guy and had some fun. I took a picture because it was interesting and this woman comes out of the tailor's in the bottom of the building next to mine and starts yelling at me! No idea what she was saying, so of course I just said "I don't speak Russian!" and ran upstairs...oops
I was talking with a Russian friend the other day, and we were talking about the economy, and how Russian income tax rates are higher than American tax rates. I asked him if he felt that he could see his tax dollars at work, and he said "yeah, in the new cars and apartments of the parliament members!" hahaha good one, Russian humor
So tonight Roman's university is having some sort of celebration, fancy-dress-party for the 20th anniversary of his department. He invited me and I am very excited to put on a nice dress and go meet some new people!
Not that he never takes me out, by any means- two weekends ago we went to a Vivaldi concert at Smolny Cathedral, and it was wonderful! I'll be sure to post pictures from tonight)))
On Monday there was a field trip for my Russian Political System class- we went to the Russian Museum of Politics! (not sure if that's the official name...)
|Piece of the Berlin Wall|
|Portrait of the last Tsar, Nicholas II, raked by bayonets of revolutionaries when the State Duma was taken|
|Russian Constitution and audiobook!|
|An interesting, large sculpture inside the museum|
|Rock wall I think memorializing those who died in gulags|
|Stalin's Death Mask|
Apologies for being the worst photographer ever...
|House of Raskolnikov|
Later on Sunday I did a cooking class through my university! It was kind of pricy and way too many people, but still fun)) My group learned how to make syrniki (sort of cottage cheese patties) and other groups made schi (cabbage soup) and "herring under the fur coat"...ew.