You are currently browsing the daily archive for 29 November 2004.

There’s a decent Japanese restaurant just a block away from my house, and today I discovered that they have a Japanese grocery too! Overpriced, but good for healthy treats. I’m eating wasabi peas now. Mmm.

Well, I’m getting my Petersburgian life in order. I’ve got my warm boots and coat (the latter being like a sleeping bag with fake fur trim), our apartment is mostly unpacked, arranged, furnished, and decorated, and today I went to the university to sign up for Russian lessons.

When I was here in 2002 I took classes for three months in the Russian for Foreigners program at St. Petersburg State University, which was a very positive experience. The teachers are great; you meet lots of other foreign students; it’s flexible, so you could come for a week or a year; they have cultural events and optional classes like Russian folk music that you can just drop in on; and you get a very useful student card which entitles you to discounts and Russian Price at museums and concerts.

So I went to the office to sign up for classes, and said to a woman at the administrative office “I’m a new student” and the woman next to her said “No, she’s an old student.” How nice to be recognized!

I’ll start classes tomorrow. I had a choice between two groups, an easier one which had a lot of students in it and a more difficult one with fewer students. I chose the latter, but I can switch if it’s too hard. According to the class roster almost all the students are Chinese, which in my experience is cool, I love those crazy Asian kids, but it makes Phonetics class really irritating — pronunciation is my strong point and always a huge challenge for native speakers of Asian languages, so sitting there listening to them mangle the language gets old fast. Oh well.

The group meets 9:30-12:40 every day, which is a good schedule, but I’ll have to work hard to wake up that early — the earliest I’ve woken up since we moved into the apartment is 9:30! I’m not a complete lazy ass, I just find it genuinely physically difficult to wake up when it’s still dark out. But there’s no choice this far north!

Travel geeks — create a map of countries, states, and Canadian provinces you’ve visited. Though it’s kind of misleading — I mean, it looks like I’ve covered the entire northern hemisphere, when in fact I haven’t been to Western Canada and I’ve only been to one corner of enormous Russia. (Hopefully, that will change this year, though.)

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About This Blog

I'm an American who started blogging when I moved to Russia in 2004. Eventually I moved to Sweden, where life is pleasant but uneventful, and stopped blogging for lack of interesting things to say. And then I joined Facebook, which further destroyed any motivation for blogging. Maybe someday I'll start blogging again, but for now, this blog is dormant, an archive of The Russia Years: 2004-2008.

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