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We live just a few doors down from one of St. Petersburg’s two Wedding Palaces, that is, the government registry offices, and so walking down my street each day is kind of an informal anthropological study of Russian wedding practices. Russian weddings are generally not the church-and-elaborate-party-for-300 affairs that they are in the US. They go to the registrar’s with family and close friends, take some pictures outside (this is the bit I get to see every day), lay flowers at places around the city that have some kind of personal emotional significance, like cemeteries or memorials, and then go for dinner at a nice restaurant.

Apparently Russians don’t favor long engagements. An article in today’s St. Petersburg Times highlights young couples’ complaints about having to wait six months or more for a date at the overbooked registrars’ offices. The forehead-slapping quote:

“It’s better to have the wedding when you are in the right romantic mood. Who knows how people’s emotions will change in almost half a year.”

Ummm, if your emotions might change that dramatically in half a year, then it’s probably better not to get married, huh???

With kindergarten over for the summer, I have one more lesson with the eight-year-old and then I am unemployed. I’ve told the language school that I’m available to teach more lessons now, but they haven’t come up with anything yet.

I was looking forward to having some time to sit on my arse, but today is my first real day of arse-sitting, and I can already tell that it won’t be good to do too much of it. I need some structure to my days and I want to be able to afford my lifestyle of hanging out in moderately-priced cafes without draining my savings. My mom’s a schoolteacher and she used to spend her summers napping whenever she didn’t have anything else to do, which I could easily wind up doing because I inherited her lethargy. Despite being a somnolent person, though, I really do prefer to spend the majority of my time productively.

So, the master plan. 1) Keep looking for students. 2) Get up at a reasonable hour (like 8.00) and run or do yoga every day. 3) Spend a couple of hours a day studying Russian, preferably at a moderately-priced cafe. 4) Read all those books I shipped over here in anticipation of having lots of time for arse-sitting. 5) Pursue all those creative projects I always fantasize about having time for. 6) Cook real food rather than subsisting on bread and cheese.

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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June 2005