This weekend we had what Kostia often calls in Russian “a full cultural program” (once when we were in his hometown and I suggested buying a watermelon, he said “ooh, we’ll have a full cultural program this evening,” so you can see how this phrase is taken very seriously).

Friday night we went to a hockey game. There’s another American studying here (she’s not in my program though, hence the solo Power Point presentation) who is a fundamentalist Christian and a hard-core tomboy (I hope she wouldn’t be offended by my saying that) and plays ice hockey on the Falun women’s team. Her team was playing a “friendly match” against a team of 11- and 12-year-old boys. The teams were, surprisingly, quite balanced and the final score was 3-3. Needless to say, it was one of those experiences you don’t really anticipate having, watching grown women play hockey against pre-teen boys.

Saturday night we had a housewarming party. Our little apartment was filled to capacity. My classmate from Japan brought two friends with her, both of whom were Asian-Swedish. The Bangladeshi-Swede said to me, “When I heard that there was an American-Russian couple here, I thought, they’re making world peace in a neutral country!” I hope that isn’t a sign that a new cold war is starting. American-Russian couplings really aren’t so unusual as to be symbolic anymore… or are they?

(By the way, the Power Point presentation went pretty well today, though people didn’t laugh as much as I expected. My Mexican classmate did a really kick-ass presentation.)