Lately my enjoyment of the lovely St. Petersburg summer has given way to a sense of mild frustration. I suppose it’s partly because it’s becoming evident that summer is winding down – it’s chilly and the nights are getting longer and darker. And I suppose I’m getting anxious about the move to Sweden, though I shouldn’t too much, since all the arrangements are working out nicely – we found a fabulously cheap flight to Stockholm, and Kostia’s best friend is taking over our apartment so we can leave a lot of our stuff on long-term loan to him and not have to move it all to Kostia’s hometown.

The annoying things include the fact that the folks in the international students’ office and the housing office at our future university rarely answer their phones or e-mail, and when they do, the information they give is less informative than one might hope for. Though perhaps it’s good that my impression of Sweden as a completely efficient society where everyone speaks perfect English is being trimmed down to more realistic proportions BEFORE going there.

Also, packing, once again, fills me with huge amounts of self-loathing. Why do I have so much stuff that seems so indispensable in this tiny flat alone, not to mention the furniture and boxes of crap spread out amongst friends and relatives in the US? It makes me feel like a horrible, materialistic person. OK. From now on, I’m never going to buy anything again. (Or accept any non-cash gifts. :-) )

Right. So as to end this post on a positive note, I should write about the superfun birthday party I had a week and a half ago. I have an acquaintance who owns a boat and does boat tours, and I rented his boat for three hours, so I and about 10 other people cruised the waterways of St. Petersburg on a lovely Saturday evening. Here are a few pictures.