Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So here's the lo-down..

Alright readers, here's the deal. Tomorrow I depart from the wonderful, awful, cold, awesome, beautiful, terrible land of Russia. I feel that I owe you all a skillfully crafted poignant closing blog post, but I don't have time to compose such a composition in the time I have left here. Packing and cleaning has me in a whirl.

I had planned to post something during the outrageous amount of travel time I have ahead of me, but life is always throwing things at you and through a turn of circumstance I won't have a computer with me on the way back home. So it won't be then.

Know that when I arrive home to Alaska (from which I should still be able to see Russia... right?), get settled in, and have time to properly reflect on my time here in Vladivostok I will write a beautiful closing statement that will leave you all feeling satisfied.

Until then, wish me safe and quick travels. Perhaps you can take this chance to reflect on the past four months of your life. It's an odd feeling, coming to the end of an era and looking back on such an isolated piece of time. It's as though my life outside of Russia were put on pause...

Ok, I can't start thinking about it yet. I have too much to do in the next 18 hours.
So long for now!

Ithaca

Hockey!

We went to Cameron's last hockey game to cheer him on. It was great - the Vladivostok team won 8-2 (if I remember correctly) and Cameron scored a bunch of goals. That was probably due to his incredibly enthusiastic cheering section. And skill, of course. 


Inside the rink, we got to wear these lovely booties. Russians really like their foot and floor hygiene. It made sense here though, because the whole area off the ice was skate-friendly.


Here's the totally rad logo for the ice rink. I liked it.


The end.

The Hobbit

Last night I saw the Hobbit in Russian. In 3D. They had really cool 3D glasses, which looked like this:


Plus, I ate popcorn.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Гулять

I think I may have mentioned this before, but the Russians really like to recreationally walk around. So much so that there's a special verb (pronounced gulyat) that describes that activity. Here are a few photos from around the city, taken at various times throughout the last two weeks or so. I usually had a destination when I was walking (making it not true gulyat-ing), but they're nice photos nonetheless.


Russian policeman helping conduct traffic during rush hour. I will sorely miss the ridiculously uniformed men you find on the streets of Vladivostok...


This is the main roundabout you go through on the way from the school to downtown. It's very Russian-looking, I think.


Russians love Christmas trees too! They're called ёлочна's (yolochkas). Of course here they're New Year, not Christmas, trees, but the idea is the same! The most popular new year song is about a yolochka.


This is just a cute picture of Jordan and I walking. You can tell it's cold out, huh?


This is one of my favorite signs we've encountered. No beer, no cigarettes, no steamy beverages, no hotdogs (I thought that was a banana at first), no dogs, no ice cream, and ABSOLUTELY NO FUN ALLOWED ON THE THRID FLOOR. Not a place I'd like to be. Haha.


This is my favorite wall painting in Vladivostok. There are lots of them on the little walls next to the streets. This one is just lovely though... I made a special bus stop just to take my picture by it!

День Рождения

This weekend was fun because not one, but TWO of our Russian friends had birthdays to celebrate!

 On Saturday we went to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate our friend Sasha's birthday (you may remember Sasha from our excursion to the dacha). We met some new Russians there, sang some karaoke, drank a little vodka, and also acted as interpeters for one of Sasha and Jenya's Japanese colleagues who didn't speak Russian, just English and Japanese. 


On Sunday it was our friend Oxana's birthday celebration. It was an early party with just her American friends, since we'll all leave before her real birthday! We also went to a Chinese restaurant (a different one though!). Oxana, being the wonderful girl that she is, turned it into another early New Year celebration and brought presents for all of US, even though it was HER birthday! We ate delicious food, dressed up in tinsel to celebrate the holidays, and had a wonderful time.



Новый Год

Well readers, I'm out of this fair land in 2 days... as the semester's wound down a few neat things have transpired... but I'm pretty schooled out by this point and don't feel like writing too much. I'll just post a few pictures I guess to give you a taste of the last week and a half. 

First, we had a Russian New Year's celebration (early... their Christmas-like holiday is in the beginning of January) put on for the international students by some Russian students and the Russian language department. There were games, songs, a tree-lighting ceremony... it was quite silly, but fun.



There was even an appearance from the Russian Santa Clause, Ded Moroz, and his helper Snegurochka!