Sunday, September 23, 2012

Want to hear a secret?

After teaching from 10am to 6pm Saturday, Sunday is my day off! Woohoo! I took advantage of the opportunity to sleep in, watch Russian tv, and do a little exploring around my the part where nothing is.  People had told me which direction to go in if I wanted to find things, but I'm a bit stubborn and wanted to find out for myself that there's nothing in a particular direction (my friends were right, there's still nothing there.  But what if there had been?! It would've been a missed opportunity!).  As I was doing this it started raining, so I ducked into a minimart and bought a bunch of Russian junkfood.  Like mushroom & sourcream Lays...I'll keep you posted.  When I left it was raining even harder, so I went to do some actual groceries at our local store - 5 (where I ended up with even more junkfood..and some actual food.  Don't worry!).  As I was checking out, the frozen pelmeni (these are kind of like dumplings) I'd picked up turned out to be 4x the amount I thought I'd read, so the cashier yelled at me & then we waited apx 15 mins for someone to come with a key so she could cancel them out.  Everything is more complicated in Russia.

Also, during these 2 grocery buying experiences, I found out how to keep people from staring at me as they realize I'm a foreigner every time I open my mouth. Are you ready for this secret? It's gold.  Ok, here we go: speak quietly enough so that they can hear what you've said, but not really how you've said it.  Boom! No need to thank me.  It's worked all day in grocery stores and any other stores I randomly wandered into.  It almost felt like having a magic power.  But enough about that, let's backtrack and talk a little about the past few days.

Friday is my other day off, but like a crazy person (which everyone reminded me of.  All. Day.), I went into work to plan my 6 academic hours of teaching on Saturday.  This resulted mostly in hanging out with the teachers working that day, but I don't think I'm going to make a habit of Friday visits.  This was also a school night, so I simply met Yulia for sushi before heading home.

Saturday was a full day of teaching.  To start, I had a 10-1130am with some 5 year olds (they were adorable, and my lesson involved going over the alphabet and using puppets.  Score.) and then a 3-550pm with some teens (who were upper-intermediate, very well-behaved and very enthusiastic for it being a Saturday. In short, a joy to teach).  After work I met Zhenya and her twin sister, Sveta, and we walked along the Arbat, ate some Russian cuisine at Elki-Palki, and walked around Red Square/the Kremlin before getting on the metro and parting ways (it was lateish. We were tired).  However, instead of going home & sleeping, I got a text from Nicole asking if I wanted to come over for drinks and hanging out, so I spent a few hours with her, her bf (another teacher at a different school), 2 of his British colleagues, and a Russian he'd met on study abroad (and who happened to know 2 of mine & Nicole's coworkers).  After a few hours of drinks, cards, and Twister, it was time to head home before everyone missed the metro (although Max - the Russian - and I live in the same place and ended up taking a gypsy cab home...this is normal here.  It was also so so much more convenient than taking the metro).  

I'll try to be more exciting for you guys in the coming weeks, but you'l just have to deal while I continue getting situated.  Incentive to keep reading! 

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