Just a quick post, as I have a lesson to teach in two hours and I have to prepare for it. Yes, a lesson! Earning money! What a novel concept.

I spent the weekend in a little village in the middle of nowhere drinking milk fresh from the cow, eating shashlik, getting beaten with birch leaves in a real old-school Russian banya, getting a million mosquito bites and searching fruitlessly for hedgehogs. It was great.

I was reminded that some of the things that bug me about Russia really have more to do with St. Petersburg being a big city than with Russia per se. It’s like what my college advisor, a native New Yorker, said about New York: “You have everything you want, and everything you don’t want.” It’s kinda true of any metropolis: you’ve got your nice cafes, your mobile phone access, your armed robbers and your stinky drunks on the metro.