I realize in retrospect that my last few posts have been rather harsh in respect to Katya my *couch* Russian roommate. To prove that I have managed to make some friends here, I would like to present Feoder as one of the coolest people on the planet.
Most of the friends I've made here have been fellow foreigners living in the dorms - French, Dutch, Swiss, Italian..., the list goes on and on. This is due mostly to the fact that a lot of the Russian students have gone home for the summer and I therefore have had more contact with others staying for the summer programs, which are mostly language studies. Feoder was one of my neighbors when I was living on the 9th floor (he lives with Charles, the guy from Paris). He is one of the few Russians left in the building because he has a job here in town.
Why, you may ask, is Feoder my new hero? Well, unlike Katya, he is someone who actually does what he says he is going to do, and even goes out of his way to help poor little foreigners like myself. I have been trying for the past week to buy a train ticket to Moscow without much luck, because the train company doesn't seem to find it necessary to hire bilingual people to work at the ticket booths (not only do they only speak Russian, but they are all quite rude and even insulted me when I tried to buy a ticket in the Russian that I do know). I asked Katya to go to the train station with me at her convenience, but she was too tired (not too tired to go out and party or too tired to keep me up until all hours of the morning on a school night by watching MTV, just too tired to help me do something for a change). It suddenly clicked that Feoder might be willing to help. He said yes immediately, and even left work early today to go to the ticket office with me. And got me a cheaper ticket that what I was expecting. Once again I need to quote Terri Hendrix - "Say what you're gonna do, and do what you say." Feoder, you win the prize for the coolest Russian alive. Katya - try harder next time.
The other cool thing about Feoder - every anecdote begins with "When I was in the army - the RUSSIAN army, you know...." Here you have to imagine a thick Russian accent and a bottle of beer in hand.
Now I have to head back to the dorms. The first in a long line of going away parties is about to begin.