Today I met up with some former co-workers from the kindergarten. We went to an English pub called Dickens. When we got there, nearly all the tables were empty, but had “reserved” signs on them. “Football starts at 2:00”, said the waitress. Clueless non-sports fans that we are, we didn’t realize it was the Russian national league championship game, and St. Petersburg’s team was playing. Still, we squeezed into a table that wasn’t reserved because it wasn’t in view of one of the TVs. If I leaned back, I could see the TV screen, and I was lucky enough to lean back at the right moment to see the single goal of the game, which made Zenit the Russian champions. After the game, the city went wild – it felt a bit like New Year on the streets. This is the first time in more than 20 years that Zenit has won. I couldn’t care less about who wins sports games, but I’m glad the city’s in a good mood tonight.

It’s been winter for the past week. The view out our window has been looking like this lately:

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Winter notwithstanding, we carved a pumpkin last weekend. I tried to find one before Halloween, with no success. But when I saw a babushka selling this nice plump orange one the weekend after Halloween, I had to buy it:

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I’ve been doing a bit of clothes shopping recently. I got a new hat which is ideal because it isn’t too bulky but it is warm and has ear flaps. I also got this totally awesome sweatshirt (which also has an ear flap) at Savage, which is Ksenia Sobchak‘s clothing brand, who is the Russian Paris Hilton. Even though she apparently has lots of money for self-promotion, she doesn’t have enough money to have someone who speaks fluent English work for her clothing company (really, take a look at their web site – my students write better than this! I mean, there’s nothing wrong with not speaking English per se, but if you’re promoting yourself in English and writing English on your clothes, hire a professional for god’s sake). On the back of the sweatshirt and on the sleeve, it says, “I’m feel good!!” In comic sans, no less. There’s also a dachshund on this sweatshirt. You can’t really tell from the picture, but he stretches all the way around the side to the middle of the back. This sweatshirt was such a piece of work that I just had to buy it. I’m going to wear it every day that I don’t have to dress professionally.

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