so before i say anything else, because i keep forgetting...every morning when svetlana gives me my tea, she gives it to me in this mug that says around the inner rim: we wanna live healthily, being healthy is beautiful, do you like vegetable? so that always makes me laugh and she probably has no idea why it's funny.
but anyway, hmm, let's see, on friday night we went out to get dinner and ended up going to a blini stand where i ordered my own blini in russian. i was proud of myself. it was blueberries and cream and it was really good. then we made a stop at dom knigi (house of books) which is a bookstore in russia that's pretty much their equivalent of barnes and noble. it's decent, i guess. i just wanted to get a book in english so i have something to do when i'm bored on school nights since i get basically no homework here. i found something even though the books are really overpriced. afterwards we went to shokoladnitsa (chocolate-y or something? haha) which
turned out to be a really fancy restaurant after we were directed to the basement. we mostly got dessert and drinks though. we ordered in russian there too and the waitress was slightly confused when we tried to explain that we wanted our checks split.
i slept until 2 yesterday just because i was tired and went to bed late. we were supposed to meet lena (our events coordinator, she's really nice) at pushkinskaya around 5 so i left svetlana's around 4 to meet everyone else at the metro. svetlana left a few minutes before i did but i have no idea where she was going since she hardly ever leaves the apartment, so when she does it's kind of a big deal. plus she had makeup on and everything. go figure. so anyway we met lena and hung out around tverskaya for a while. this weekend is all devoted to moscow day celebrations so they had closed down the major streets to cars and had a bunch of stages and stands set up. it was a lot of fun, actually. we watched the singers they had for a little bit who were singing crazy russian techno songs and then headed towards red square. we ate lunch at sbarro [pause so i can roll my eyes] and just got pizza. there were several problems with this. first is that even though lena is really nice, she doesn't really understand that some people in our group don't know any russian at all, and she also walks REALLY fast in crowds. so we got split up while we were ordering at sbarro, and so we had to pair up and order together. so not only did i have to order my own food but i also had to butcher the menu items and order food for someone else. the cashier lady basically just stared at me as i thought for like five minutes about how to translate "i want tomato pizza and she wants spinach" haha. at least it was good pizza, which is surprising for sbarro.
after we had dinner we found out seats in red square which were actually really good. we were directly across from st. basil's and right next to lenin's tomb (which i still have not seen yet). the entire performance lasted about 3 hours. it was amazing. militaries from a bunch of different countries (finland, france, UK, israel, india, china, italy, russia, kazakshtan, armenia etc) performed and there was also a singer and a ton of fireworks at the end right over st. basil's. i had a great time and it was definitely an awesome thing to be able to see.
so before i end, i said last time i would mention some of the things that i have noticed since arriving in russia. first is that there definitely are a LOT of stray animals running around. it doesn't personally bother me, but it is kind of sad even though i'm not a huge cat/dog fan. not so many cats but i've seen a few. but nobody really seems to even pay any attention to them. also, the russian mullet is still very much in fashion. i don't really understand why...but they seem to like it haha. i have also been able to see a good amount of russian tv so far thanks to svetlana's addiction to russian soap operas, and literally any hour of any day, you can find a soap on. i mean, i guess some of them are actually prime time dramas, but they all have the same production values so it's not like you can tell the difference like you can between good shows like survivor and crap like days of our lives or something haha. and then several other things that i think are funny quickly...
-russian people seem to fall into one of two categories: either really ugly or really good looking
-russians do not move out of your way, you move out of theirs
-bathrooms here are 95% likely to not have toilet paper (not even GUM!)
-there are about 20 different commercials that run on a constant loop on tv. they never change.
and so i guess that's it for now..my internet still sucks and looks as though it will continue to do so, so possibly updates every 3-4 days is likely but not guaranteed. second week of classes starts tomorrow so maybe ill go into more detail on my russian class next time.