Sunday, March 10, 2013

Butterflies and holidays and birthdays, oh my!

Lots to discuss! First of all, I did a Life Club to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Eric Carle's The Hungry Caterpillar last month.  It was adorable, and it also led me to the realization that I am a hungry caterpillar, because I am always hungry (bet you couldn't have guessed that one).  Moving on.

I also went on a trip to Yaroslavl in February! My friend Nina is from there and invited me to go back with her one weekend.  We left work on a Saturday night and got back into Moscow on Monday morning before work.  Yaroslavl was amazing; the air was fresh, the streets were less crowded, there were beautiful churches everywhere, and I got fed a whole lot by Nina's parents.  I also got sent home with a few kilos of homegrown potatoes and onions from their dacha, as well as some homemade pickles.  Yaroslavl is a fairly large city, with around 700K citizens, so I didn't get to see nearly all of it.  What I did get to see were the aforementioned churches, the Volga and Kotorosl rivers, and every monument featured on the 1000ruble note.  It was a really relaxing/refreshing trip, and we both came back recharged (and with fresh haircuts, courtesy of Nina's friend Misha). 

On February 23 we celebrated (but were not given a day off for) Defenders of the Fatherland Day (aka Men's Day) by giving our men cookies and chocolates and things (the holiday fell on a Saturday, but none of the boys in my Saturday group showed up so the girls and I were left to eat all of the sweets on our own. Tough life).  Then, on March 8th, we celebrated International Women's Day, which resulted in a Friday off and flowers and chocolates at school from some of our students.  I took the day as an opportunity to walk through Gorky Park (which I am falling deeper in love with after every visit) and relax.  And eat cake (duh). 

This week is the beginning of another holiday: Maslenitsa.  I've never experienced Maslenitsa in Russia, but it's centered around eating pancakes and playing outside and burning an effigy at the end of it all, so needless to say I'm quite excited. 

In addition to Maslenitsa's culmination on Sunday is my most favorite holiday of all: St. Patrick's Day! I'm not Irish, but for those of you who don't know: THIS IS MY BIRTHDAY.  And my dad's birthday.  But more importantly, my birthday (hi dad).  I don't yet know how I'm going to celebrate...the initial idea was to visit Jackie and all of my other St. Petersburgers, but the universe is trying to prevent that from happening. First there was a problem with purchasing train tickets where the booking site took my money but gave me no ticket.  Then, Raiffeisen decided that my 356rub purchase at the grocery store was suspicious, cut off my card, and when I visited the branch yesterday cut up said card and told me they would have a new one in SEVEN DAYS. And there's a tariff for withdrawing cash from a teller.  So I am for all intents and purposes moneyless despite just having gotten paid, and it is tragic and will probably result in a delayed Petersburg visit.  But I shall prevail. Wish me luck!

No comments:

Post a Comment