Before I begin another rambling entry, I feel I must apologize - especially the more grammatically aware of you. I realize there has been a frightening increase in the number of grammatical (aka - stupid) errors in my blog posts as of late, which I feel require at least an explanation (I'm far too lazy and short on time to go back and fix them all). Studying Russian all day long has crippled my English skills. While I can still speak, I find myself making more and more mistakes that I wouldn't have made before. The other thing hampering my blog-writing skills is that I have to pay for the internet by the minute, so I usually end up skipping the whole proofreading step, thereby missing the mistakes that I would ordinarily fix right away. So there - I'm sorry guys. Now get off my back...
On to real story-telling...
I have yet another thing to add to list of things I miss about everyday life back home – 24-hour pharmacies. I didn’t get any sleep on Sunday night due to a splitting headache, which I was unable to medicate because I ran out of ibuprofen and the local apothecary was closed for the night (it’s not like it would have helped if they had been open – I can’t leave the dorm between 11 and 7, at least not if I want to get back inside). So I lay tossing and turning until it was time to go to class. I decided to leave a little early so that I could stop by the pharmacy near the university on the way to class and get some medicine for what had become a migraine. My hopes were dashed – it too was closed. Nothing opens earlier than 9 here, except for the occasional bar and corner store. While you can always pop into 7-11 for a dose of Tylenol in America, the only place where you can buy drugs here is in the drugstore. Therefore, I sat through four straight classes this morning while my head pounded away.
I finally got some medicine and went to take a nap around 2 in the afternoon. It wasn’t a long nap, but it helped. Natalya Olegovna hooked me up with tickets to the Musical Theatre for Monday night. Apparently the group that was performing was supposed to be really good – the Dance Ensemble of Siberia. They did not disappoint. Imagine a strange combination of ballet, circus, and marching band (minus the instruments), and you’ll come pretty close to what I saw. I still amazed that those dancers could do what they did with their legs. The only downside was the audience. I was sitting next to some of the worst audience members on the planet. One lady’s phone rang during the performance – she answered and proceeded to have a conversation (not at a whisper, but full-volume) while the dancers were performing. But it was awesome, no matter how disappointing my fellow patrons were.
Another piece of good news – I finally found some winter shoes. I was having a bit of trouble in that department. It’s not that there is a lack of warm shoes in Irkutsk (it is the middle of Siberia, after all). The problem was that all the winter shoes I was finding were nice, stylish boots, more befitting a young Russian lady then this little girl from Texas. Not only would said boots look silly with my wardrobe, but I needed something that I can play in – something that can handle hiking and such as well. Otherwise, what’s the point in spending all that money? I ended spending a little bit extra at the sports store rather than the shoe market, but I got a pair of really nice snow boots. They are the warmest shoes I’ve ever owned – my feet were actually sweating this afternoon. And soooo comfortable – well worth the price I paid. Plus, I’ll be able to use them a bit back in the States, next time I visit Colorado or New Mexico, or any of the colder states were snow is not such a strange thing.
I've come to realize lately that my addiction to blini (Russian version of pancakes) has a parallel back home. Whenever I need a snack (or dinner for very little money), I head down to Taco Cabana and buy a dozen of their fresh flour tortillas and a cup of queso. Mmmmmm. I can taste it right now. SOOOOO good. While blini aren't exactly the same, my constant craving for them is on the same level. What should I eat for lunch today? BLINI! What about dinner? BLINI! This better stop soon or I'm going to turn into a pancake.
That's it for now I think.
Sorry it took a little longer, but the pictures from Arshan (and Listvyanka) are now up on flickr. ; Here’s the link again, so the less technologically-inclined of you can find it --- http://www.flickr.com/photos/hannahefrank