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Don't Sit on that Rock if You Want to Have Babies!

Written on: Wednesday February 13th, 2008

A journal entry from: B Poccuu

The ballet was outstading. It was at the Conservatory. I've seen Giselle before, but this was about 1000 times better. Our seats were really good too (I think Liza's host mom snuck us into some that we weren't supposed to be in, but hey it works). After the ballet we went to McDonalds and had Happy Meals. They were.. interesting. I prefer Carl's Jr.

On Sunday I didn't do much. I slept late and went to O'Kei, a Wal-Mart-like supercenter. It's amazing. They have shopping carts! And appliances! And toiletries! And clothes! And books! I got a Harry Potter book for $4! So yeah, I love O'Kei. I spent about half the money I spent last week on the same food. I also bought stuff to make cookies, and on Sunday night I made chocolate chip cookies for my host family. Unfortunately in Russia they don't have chocolate chips, so I bought dark chocolate bars and broke them into little pieces. They also weren't as fluffy, but I think that's because the oven doesn't have temperature settings and I don't really know what '5' means. Oh well, they seemed to like them. By Monday night Pavel had devoured them.

I missed my car a lot on Sunday. It really sucks having to buy groceries, lug them to the metro, get off the metro and ride a bus to get home. Lame.

On Monday I had classes. I had a couple tests, but they weren't a big deal. Afterwards I got a library card. So now the list of things I must carry with myself at all times includes: my passport, my student card, my visa, my registration, my migration card and my library card. Awesome. Afterwards Liza, Ashley, Hannah and I went to CitiBar and utilized their free wireless. We tried to order cheese sticks (we even pointed to it on the menu while saying it) but they brought us 5 rather pathetic chicken fingers. Oh well, that's Russia.

Oh! I don't remember what day it was, but I saw a girl playing the flute in one of the hallways where you change from one metro station to the other (underground). I am firmly convinced that she was playing the theme from Ocarina of Time. No joke. Obviously she was a Zelda fan.

Tuesday after classes we had our group meeting. We're definitely going to Pskov (I'm paying for it tomorrow). We also might be going to the Philharmonic in March. The first discussion club was that night, but Jessica gave us the full schedule and there are others that I would much rather go to than «Relationship Issues and Traditions». Like the one about the elections (next week). We're only required to go to 3. (By the way, the discussion clubs are with American and Russian students. The first hour is in Russian, the second in English.)

Instead of the discussion club, Liza, Ashley, Hannah and I went to a café. Their computer was down, however, so the two Russian guys that Ashley managed to meet (/hit on) showed us another cool café. I'm pretty much sure one of them was married and lying about it, but they both said they were 22. As I'm not particularly interested in meeting random Russian guys in cafes, it was mostly just amusing to talk to them. They didn't speak English terribly well.

Today we went to the Yusupovsky Palace. I got to sleep in (woo!). The palace was really cool?it's weird to imagine that nobility were still living there in like 1915, since most other countries had already gotten rid of their monarchies by that time. We took the basement tour, as well, so we got to see the rooms where they attempted to kill Rasputin (he was rather like Fidel Castro in his resilience). They shot him 4 times, poisoned him and threw him in a river. He also came back after the shootings to strangle one of them.

Anyways, the palace was really beautiful. A lot of it was damaged or destroyed during the Siege of Leningrad, so the new replacement stuff was obviously not the real thing, but it was still awesome. The red room was my favorite (there was also a blue room, a green room and a white room). There's also a small home theatre where they still have concerts. It's like a mini version of any fancy, gold-leafed theatre (like the Mariinsky), and it's also cheaper. So I definitely want to see something there. A lot of famous people performed there for the noble family and their friends, like Anna Pavlova.

Afterwards we wandered around and tried to find the dance studio we wanted to try, but it wasn't where it said it would be. We called, and they said the owner was out of town till Saturday. Weird.

Then we went to O'Kei again with Zach, because my friends hadn't been yet, and they wanted to see it. I got some juice and some bread. As I write this, I am drinking a liter of Nico juice. It's delicious. It's made from only fruit juice, puree and water. It's «mulitfruit» flavor, and I'm kind of addicted to it. This is probably really bad for me to sit here and drink it, but it's so good that I don't care. The juice here is a lot better than the juice in America, probably due to the lack of preservatives.

Future Plans:
Tomorrow: Valentine's Day. We're required to give Valentines to everyone in our classes. Gah.
Friday: No idea.
Saturday: Hermitage?
Next Thurs.: Pikovaya Dama at the Mikhailovsky Theatre.
Next Weekend: Pskov
Tuesday after we get back: Ballet at the Mariinsky.

Quick Funny Story: In winter, if a girl sits on something like a cold rock or a cold bench (which you're supposed to sit on, as it's a bench) any babushka in the immediete vicinity will yell at her. You know why? Because if a girl sits on something cold, it will FREEZE. HER. UTERUS. Obviously. This has happened to a bunch of my friends (the reprimand, not the freezing). I even got a bad look when I sat on a bus stop bench (no one else will even go near them, girls just don't sit on them). When one of my friends asked our (slightly insane) phonetics teacher why this was, and said she was from the north/midwest of the US and no one ever worried about sitting on the rocks there, the teacher said, «Well, the rocks in America aren't as cold as the rocks in Russia.» There you have it. Pure scientific Russian reasoning. Their rocks are just colder than ours, and they're so cold that if you aren't careful and you accidently sit on one, you won't be able to have children.



From first sister to comment again on Feb 13th, 2008

please dont freeze your uterus i want to be an aunt. i dont have much to say this time happy valentines day! i got skype now how do i talk to you?? let me know i love you and miss you xoxo alisha

From Cheryl Rogers on Feb 14th, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day! How did you celebrate Valentine's in Russia? Bake some more cookies and cut them in heart shapes! It certainly sounds like you are busy and soaking in the Russian culture. And you don't worry a bit about freezing your uterus; you don't need to think about that yet! Watch out for those suave Russians in bars :)

From the sister who has a virus. on Feb 14th, 2008

hey hey hey!!! so im sick. and you know when i get sick? The night before the 4 day weekend. :( I think you need photos. And yes I read the blog about how you cant upload them or whatever. I coughed up blood :( So whats the other hannah like??? ANd how is the food. Mom is making brocolli pizza right now..... yea... xoxo Hannah

From a bench sitting sister on Feb 15th, 2008

So your 27 layers of clothes will not protect your uterus? Hmmm . . . Well I am jealous for the flute player, the ballet and the cookies. I don't think you will come across any clarinet players, but if you do take their picture!! I miss you!!

From sock knitter on Feb 15th, 2008

I confess to an ever-so-slight concern about your future childbearing ability, but I think you should sit down if you want to. I am glad your choco-splinter cookies turned out.

From Kelsie on Feb 15th, 2008

You can freeze your uterus? Really. Remind me to tell any of my friends that don't want to have kids to go to Russia in the winter and sit on the cold rock/bench things and have a babushka yell at them. ;) The cookies sound like they turned out well. So that's good.

From Laura on Feb 18th, 2008

that is hilarious. now if only going to russia were cheaper than getting your tubes tied. count me in haha.