Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Banks of the Mighty Volga

Looking back on the last post I realize I sounded a bit hysterical. Or at least agitated. But now I feel better. My sickness has abated somewhat save some soreness on the tip of my tongue and things went considerably better last night. I did hit a bit of a low point during the day though. I found myself checking flights to Seattle, part of me just wanting to go to Moscow and get on the next possible plane. It's a good thing I didn't buy a ticket to Seattle though, even if it's just because tickets for whatever reason are much cheaper to Vancouver. This is almost never the case, but it happens sometimes. But an excuse to go to Vancouver is always welcome, so I won't mind if it stays that way. And I'm sure a 28 hour Air Berlin flight with stops in Berlin and Dusseldorf would be an adventure.

Right now I'm at another internet cafe. It smells like cigarettes. The internet is slow. It is rare that the internet in Russia be as fast as internet in other places. Internet here definitely isn't as commonplace. The hostel I'm at right now doesn't have internet, which is rare for a hostel. But it's good. Keeps me from staring at a computer screen all day and checking flights on Expedia.

My Russian lesson went well yestereday! I was hoping she would speak more Russian to me but she wanted to practice her English and it's understandable given my Russian is close to nonexistent. But I learned how to conjugate some verbs and I learned some more useful expressions and when I got back I was able to speak a bit to the girl at the hostel who speaks no English at all. I asked her if she had sisters and brothers and a dog. I asked her if she had a husband and I think she communicated to me that she had a boyfriend but that she dumped him. But I also might not have been understanding at all. Most of Russian for me is just a big guess.

After dinner I walked down to the banks of the Volga River. It was beautiful. The sun was setting and there were couples locked in passionate embraces and a man fishing while lazily smoking a cigarette. There were groups of kids laughing and drinking bottles of beer and the whole environment was generally very amiable. I sat for a long time watching the sky get red and then darker and darker and then I walked back to the hostel, but not before getting some strawberry ice cream on the way.

Today I feel in much better spirits, though it's a weekend and I can take no Russian class so it will be a test of my fortitude to not get bored or depressed and get on a train to Moscow and then a flight somewhere far away. But I'm sure I'll be fine. The hostel is starting to feel like home now and I've been cooking there, too. Even eating vegetables, which I'm sure my mother will be delighted to hear. Green beans, to be specific. Broccoli was too expensive.

I want to write more but better get going. I'm afraid the chain-smoking, techno-listening employee might try to overcharge me and at 60 rubles an hour the price is already steep.

Bye for now, Komrades

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