Blogs from Tver, Centre, Russia, Europe


Europe » Russia » Centre » Tver September 12th 2013

These stories generally end with me weeping internally and praying that the person leaves on their own accord. People tend to come up and start talking to me and I'm not entirely sure why. It might be because I normally smile at people, regardless of whether I know them or not. Many of the people who come up and start talking to me are genuinely lovely people who are just curious or fancy a chat. Eccentricity doesn't bother me. Pasha and the Pervy Babooshka were not eccentrics, they were really, really creepy. I met Pasha in a bar when I was living in Tver, not far from Moscow. The bar was on the main street, not far from our lodgings, and the group that went consisted mainly of the Scots, French and Finns that were studying ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Tver January 18th 2012

Sometimes I get so bored with life I simply cannot stand it, but still I have to get up, cook food, translate various texts, look through the window, think, breathe, put the rubber ring on my tooth, read books, think about home, would-be home, past, present, future, etc, drink tea, write to my friends and what not. It’s too damned boring when the person you think most of the time often does not pay attention to your calls and has so much work we can’t even meet for 11 days, living in the same city (I wish she was not ill, to crown it all). As soon as I had my day of rest, I understood that not to get completely bored I had to go somewhere and do something. Money matters do not allow now ... read more
Trehsvyatskaya Street

Europe » Russia » Centre » Tver October 31st 2007

I have a brand-new theory about life in Russia. It’s called “Don’t Look Down.” Yes, it is exactly how it sounds. I’ve found while living here that this country requires a certain amount of looking the other way, even if that means up. As a literal example, the streets here are awful, full of holes, covered in trash, puddles, and spit, and are in a fair amount of disrepair. This might incline someone to actually keep his eyes toward the ground in order to avoid such hazards. However, if you take the time to look up and around, the scenery is actually quite beautiful. The Russians have a flair for architecture, monuments, and they love their grand, stone buildings. So if you have a moment, I suggest taking in all the wonders of coming someplace like ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Tver October 25th 2007

It all started as a fairly normal day. Mike and I had Russian conversation, Russian grammar, and then lunch. After lunch, we went to Tatar class and worked on conditionals. We then proceeded to McDonald’s for some of their awesome eight-ruble ice cream cones. We happened to see Aygul and Dilyara there and hung out with them for a while before going to the group-sing. There is a teacher at the university who holds a free singing group for foreign students every Thursday. We sit together, she plays the guitar, and we sing along to Russian folk and other famous songs. Following the singing, Trevor, Élan, Mike, Ian and I went to my house to pick up my laptop so we could watch a movie later. We stopped by the grocery on the way to Trevor’s ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Tver October 1st 2007

My first day in Russia was intense to say the least. It started with a flight from Germany to Russia on Lufthansa- the best airline ever made. After enduring a horribly cramped eight and a half hour flight on United, I was delighted to find that Lufthansa knows how to do things right, even if you are in coach. The seats are bigger, there is more leg room, and surprisingly, English announcements were still made. First of all, let me say that my flight started at 10 pm, and ended around 5 am. There would be no reason to serve a meal, right? Not according to the people at Lufthansa, who promptly served drinks followed by an extremely good dinner which included a wedge of brie. This is not the crap that they served me on ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Tver October 1st 2007

Culture Shock: it happens. People tell you how to adapt and ways to cope, but seriously, I still feel like screaming every time people start honking because the car in front of them didn’t start to go five seconds before the light turned green. It doesn’t help, and I want to kick their cars. Plus they all try to hit you. Navigating this city is like a giant live-action version of Frogger where the cars speed up at random intervals. But I’d rather focus this blog on how to avoid detection and blend in with the general populus. A lot of my guy friends are immediately recognized as Americans from far away and can’t fool anyone. Apparently I look Russian though, because people keep asking me for directions. Then again, I have figured out the ways ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Tver September 2nd 2007

Here is the update. On Friday I went to see MOngol (about Ginghis Kahn) in the theaters with Aygul, Ildar, Mike, and Nathan. It was dubbed in Russian, and I understood it (well, most of it). We went to the late show, so it was past 2:30 in the morning before we got back to their apartment. The buses don't run past 10pm, and I didn't want to hitchike home alone that late at night, so I stayed there. Mike said he would sleep on the floor so I could have one of the beds in the room (there are 2 in his room). However, after we got to the apartment he decided that he didn't feel like it. So he, nathan and I crammed in together. I smashed myself against the wall so I wouldn't ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Tver June 29th 2007

Привет, Друзя! (and a translation of the subject line: from Russia with Love ;)) Well, another week has (almost) passed, and I've had more time to process Russia as a whole, after having dedicated much of last week to just figuring out how to survive. Things are going well, as I've figured out how to get by pretty well, whether by speaking Russian or pantomime. And my Russian itself is getting alot better, I've noticed. I can now carry on whole conversations with the english speaking staff at the institute almost entirely in Russian, and I can understand almost everything. There have been a couple of things that required getting used to here, and I'll try and describe them for your benefit. In Tver there are four forms of public transit, of which I've conquered only ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Tver June 18th 2007

Hey, all, I just wanted to let you guys know that I've arrived safely in Russia and have connected with the language school, and all is well. Not studying Russian (or anything, for that matter) for the last week has resulted in more of a loss than I realized...although maybe that has more to do with the sleep deprivation and jet lag than anything else. :-p I'm staying with a lovely older couple, in a room at least as big as my room in Chicago. I'm also extraordinarily well fed. Last night for dinner I had half a plate of potatoes, a piece of chicken, two different salads, tea, cookies, buttermilk(!), yogurt, and who knows what else. I have to get back to class, but I plan to write more emails as I can. If you ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Tver September 9th 2006

And so begins our Trans-Siberian adventure. The first part of the journey is a 30 hour train journey from Moscow to Yekaterinburg. Its about 1,700km in distance. The cabins are nice and snug but unfortunately we don't fit length ways in them. Your carraige is guarded by a Prodivista who seemed to take an instant disliking to us for some unknown reason. We discovewred we were sharing withmiddle aged russian woman and a quiet Russian man. The journey flew along with no attempt by our companions to talk to us. We had boarded the train late afternoon and had noticed that the Russian man appearedto be drunk. He started to buy 2 cans of beer (And at one stage a fish for Ronan) at every stop and always managed to have them drunk by the time ... read more
The Trans-Sib In Action
Drunken Sergei
The Samovar

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