Friday, August 26, 2011


So I definitely epically failed and was either too busy, or just forgot to update my blog for the last month of my trip. I've been home for almost two weeks now. The rest of the trip was absolutely fantastic, and if y'all are friends with me on facebook I have posted all my photos up there, and once I have a little more free time I'll post them onto a third party image hosting site so everyone can see them, and at that time I'll post the link here. Otherwise, if you want to find out about the things I did and what happened the last month, just talk to me!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Half way through

So I'm far too tired, far too lazy, and have far too much to say to think of it all in Russian, and then translate it to English, so for this post I'm gonna do it in all English.

So I know I said I'd update the blog more often in my last post, and I kinda fell off the face of the planet for a couple weeks (aside from Skype). Anyways, lots has happened and it's been a hell of a lot of fun. Classes are starting to get a little harder, but that's to be expected and I know that, for sure, I'm learning a hell of a lot more of the language than I ever would have been able to back in the states in this short of a period of time. We also had a dance class were we learned two dances, one of which I forgot the name, but the other is called Kadril (Кадриль). That was actually a lot of fun learning. We only had 2 days, but next week we have another couples days of dance class. Right now we're having a history of music lecture, and the teacher is very animated and interesting to listen to. He's quite talented and is able to play many different styles of music on the piano and give us examples of every type of music he talks about.

So we've gone on a couple excursions since I last wrote, which have been quite fun. Went to a chocolate factory/museum of the history of chocolate and cocoa. It was interesting learning about all of the info they had there about the chocolate factory, and just this history of chocolate in general. Also, we then went to see the assembly lines of the chocolate in the factory (almost all mechanized with some live workers). That part was awesome, because our excursion guide would just take chocolate straight off of the conveyer belt and hand it to us to eat. By the end, I'm pretty sure everyone was full and had at least three new cavities. She would even take extras off and just shove them in our hands if we said we didn't want them but she thought we should eat more. I'm sure if she was allowed she would have shoved some in straight into our mouths. They were damn good chocolates though, so I'm definitely not complaining.

Also, the other day a friend of mine wasn't feeling too good about being in Moscow, and she's been ice skating in competitions for years, just stopped somewhat recently, so a group of us decided to go to an ice skating rink here so she could feel a little more at home and less homesick. It was actually really fun. The ice rink was located at the top of a mall (still indoors). There were a lot of quite good people there riding, but all of us that really didn't know how to ride still had a good time. I started to learn how to spin and also how to ride backwards. My goal is to learn how to ride backwards before I leave moscow, but that doesn't leave a whole lot of time left to do that, so it's probably not gonna happen. Also bought a pair of shoes while I was at the mall. Definitely didn't plan on buying shoes here, but I really liked them and they were really well priced (about $28 after doing a quick, estimated conversion), so I said to hell with it and bought em.

With my tutor we went to Царицыно (Czaritsino - kinda, not sure how to spell that in english). It was a HUGE park with tons of great views, interesting architecture, a forest near by, and a musical fountain. We were there for multiple hours because of how large the park was and how much there was to see. At one point there were some plans on the side of the path that had flower like things that were really sticky on the top, so they were fun to pick and throw at each other. As my tutor was leading, I kept adding more and more of them to the back of her sweater. It was amusing to me because she never noticed until the very end when I told her and took them off. She then used the ones I took off to attach to my beard and make a slight beard out of them.

Then it was a friend in the group's birthday on Wednesday. We had class the next morning, so she decided that we were all going to go out Thursday night instead. So we went out to this place called Papa's place, which was a lot of fun. It was a bar/club where we just danced and had a great time. I found it amusing that they played pretty much only American music. We finally left at about 3 AM and got a cab for the birthday girl and a couple other friends to go home, as the lived the furthest, and birthday girl was... well lets just say she was being the birthday girl. Anyways, I met up with a couple other friends at Coffee House (name of a 24 hours coffee place here). After a while we left and they decided to take a Gypsy cab home (basically some random driver who you pay to take you somewhere). I don't trust gypsy cabs, so I decided to walk around for a bit, as I didn't feel like paying for a taxi either, and the metro was closed. Ironically, I ran into a couple other people from my group who had left the club earlier than I had, just walking around the city as well. Eventually we ended up at China town (Китай город) and just hung out at the park there until the metro opened up. That is the longest I've been awake/out in a LONG time, and I plan on that being the only time I'm out that long while I'm here. I was far too tired the next day.

The next day we had an excursion to Mosfilm, the most famous movie producing company in Moscow, possibly Russia, not positive. It was interesting as the tour included seeing a bunch of different sets that they were currently building, wigs, old costumes, cars, props, and photos from scenes of films they had made.

Then finally today I went with my tutor to Ismajlovskaya (Исмайловская), which is a bazar/outdoor market where lots of people go to buy souvenirs. It was fun, especially because you can haggle the prices with them. It was quite amusing seeing how they tried to keep the prices up while I was trying to drop them down. Even more amusing was when we were almost always talking in Russian and they would drop a couple English words in there, to try and basically say, you're a foreigner you don't know that we can haggle prices. In the end I got some pretty good prices for a bunch of stuff. Still have yet to locate the Jacket I've been looking for, but I have another month to do so.

Take care, and until next time!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Вторая Неделя

({As per usual, English will be below Russian})

Так, я знаю то, что прошлой раз я писал на этом блоге был больше чем одна неделя. Я буду стараться писать больше часто.

Прошлые выходные я ездил на дачу моей принимающей семьей. Было очень весело. Я купался в озере/пруде.что-то было. На дачу, моя хозяйка есть клубники, которые созрели, так мы их собирали. Не сколько были сразу ели, и несколько мы сохраняли и принесли в гостиницу, где мы готовили сироп/варенье. Я не совсем знаю что мы готовили, кроме того это очень вкусно. А также, я готовил шашлыкы, которые были замечательно.

До того как я поехал на дачу моей семьи, моя группа поехала на экскурсию в Останкинской Телебашне. Было очень интересно. Втечение время, которое мы были там, мы походили по верхному полу для посетителями. Этот пол находится 360 (триста шестьдесят) метров над землей. Дополнительно, было несколько мест где пол был сделан из стекла. Было очень страшно ходить по этим, потому-что можно видеть землю. Я думаю что это было стоящий опыт, и я фотографировал фото, где выгядит как я стою на воздухе.

Эта неделя, для нашего экскурсии, мы пойдём в музей истории шоколада и какоа; тоже назевается шоколадная фабрика. Я очень рад, потому-что я думаю что мы будем получать шоколад, бесплатно. Даже если мы не получим бесплатно шоколад, мы обезательно купим шоколад после жкскурсии. Как я должен уйти из фабрики без шоколада?

До свидания!


So I know it's been a while and I'm definitely slacking on updating my blog, so I'm writing now, and hopefully will start to do so more often.

This last weekend I went to my host family's dacha. It was a lot of fun. I got to go swimming in a small lake/pond/whatever it is, for a while. At the dacha, my host family has strawberry plants planted and growing. This weekend they were all (or nearly all) ripe, so we picked them at various points throughout each day. Some were eaten right away and some were saved and brought back to the apartment where we made it into some form of syrup or jelly. Not sure exactly what it is, aside from delicious. Also, while we were there I cooked BBQ/kabobs that turned out fantastic and tasted great. Everyone agreed.

Before the trip to the dacha, out group went on another excursion, this time to the Ostankinskaya Telephone tower. It was a really interesting experience. While were were there, we went up to the top-viewing floor, which is 360 meters above ground and you can see all of Moscow (most at least). Furthermore, there were some areas where the ground was made of windowpanes. It was pretty freaky walking on them, because you could see all the way down to the ground. Was quite worth it, and I got a couple of fun pictures where it looks like I'm floating in mid air.

This week's excursion is to the museum of the history of chocolate and cocoa; aka a chocolate factory. I'm really excited for this trip and hoping that we'l get some free chocolate. Even if we dont, after taking a tour of a chocolate factory, how am I supposed to get out of there without buying something?

Until next time!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Первая Неделя (First Week)

{[Non Russian speakers, scroll down for English translation/rendition]}

Потому что два друга (Михаел и Катя) жаловалась что мне надо обновлаять мой блог больше часто; я пишу сейчас.

Москва, до сих пор, была замечательно! Каждая еда - очень вкусно. Я уже могу сказать то, что мой русский язк улучшается. Все преподаватели очень хорошие и знают как учит студенты, которые изучают русский язык и но могут свободно говорит по-русский. Удивительно, я могу понимать что мои преподаватели и принимающая семья говорят и могу разговаривать с ними. Иногда, я не могу понимать каждое слово, но я понимаю вообще общую концепцию.

Во время лета, в Москве, горячая вода отключена за несколько дней в разных районах. Сейчас, у нас нет горячой воды в квартере. Когда мы принимаем душ, мы используем горячую воду, которую мы нагреваем на плите, бедро и половник. Через десять дней, у нас будет гарячая вода.

В Пятьницу (моя группа) пошли в тур по москве-реке. Был очень интересно, и мы виделе много Москве.

До свидания и я надеюсь что вы все делаете хорошо!

(And because some people have mentioned that they don't trust Google Translate with this much of a different language, I will also be translating all of the posts to an english rendition beneath the Russian of every post from here on out)

Because two friends (Michael and Katja) complained that I don't update my blog enough, I'm writing now.

Moscow, so far, has been amazing! Everything I eat is delicious! I can already notice that my ability to speak Russian is improving. All of the teachers are really good and know how to teach Russian learning students. Surprisingly, I can understand my teachers and my host family, as well as converse with them even though it's 99.9% (with the occasional English word) in Russian. Sometimes I don't get every single word, but I understand the overall concepts.

During the Summer in Moscow, they turn off the hot water in various regions for a short period of time. At first we had hot water, but right now we don't have hot water in the apartment. When we take a shower we need to use hot water that we've heated on the stove, a bucket and a ladle. Ten more days and we should have hot water again.

On Friday we went on a tour of the Moscow River. It was a lot of fun, very interesting, and we got to see a lot of Moscow.

Until next time! I hope you're all doing well!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

В Москве

(Note to those who can't read Russian. Use a translator! [Sometimes they are a little weird] My program asks us to only talk in Russian while we are here, so aside from Skype, I will be writing very little in english.)

Наконец я в москве! Я уже был здесь два дня, но я толька переехал из общежития в квартиру моей принимающей семьи. В Настоящее время, я толька встретил с мужчиной, его зовут Владимир Иванович Грачёв. Он - физик. Его жена - врач. Она прийдёт утром и я втречу с ней тогда.

Директор программы сказал нам то, что когда мы в университете, общежитии, и дома, нам надо погоровить только по-русский. Мне очень возбуждёно!

Вчера я пробовал блын для завтрака, очень вкусно! И для ужина, я съел бефстроганов, и это тоже был очень вкусно!

До свидания!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

At the Airport

So we're finally at the airport and now we get to play the waiting game for a few hours while we wait to board our nonstop flight to Moscow. I've kind of gotten over the whole, oh my god - I'm going to Russia thing and now just can't wait to get there.

Also, we just found out our class schedules. Apparently we're getting everything condensed into two classes for units sake, but at the actual school we're going to be taking grammar, conversation, history of music, history of dance, a video class and a couple other classes. I'm very excited to see the country, start being immersed and also to meet my host family!

It was nice last night getting to see some family that I hadn't seen in quite a long time.

I'm a little tired and also scatter brained right now, so I'm gonna go, but my next post will ben when I'm in Moscow!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DC Day before Leaving

So it's now the second day that I'm in DC. Orientation has been quite long, but very informative. I still can't believe tomorrow I'll be on a plane going all the way to Moscow. It is quite hot and humid here, but that's probably going to be relatively similar to the way it's going to be when I get to Moscow.

As of now, I'm quite anxious to just get on the plane and leave. For the rest of the day I'll be going to dinner with the rest of the group of students going to Moscow (A mexican resturaunt because, apparently, they don't have any good Mexican food there, not that it matters), then getting together with some family I haven't seen in quite a while!