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!