четверг, июня 08, 2006

The End

Well, I've decided to close the blog. What can I say I'm not in Russia anymore, which means the title is all wrong. Plus, not being in Russia I seem run out of material real fast. But that's not the real reason. The blog will end as it started. It started in July as the beginning of a new era in my life. That era has come to a close, and so will this blog. One year later and one year better. It's been really fun keeping this thing up, and I'll be honest I didn't really think I could do it. Thinking back on this past year I'm surprised in how different I am (although as much as I've changed I really have stayed the same). I'm also surprised in the amount of Russian I've learned, studying abroad really works you know. Anyways, I've got another year of school left (hooray for super seniors). But first I have a whole summer of working all the time (ya real summer vacations left the day I got my first job, not that I'm complaining money is fun). Don't worry about me, I'm not leaving the blog scene altogether. I'll be back real soon, but for now so long, farewell, and thanks for reading.

(P.S. I WILL be posting the name and address of my new blog soon right here, so check back every once and a while)

суббота, мая 27, 2006


Last night I went to see X-men 3. As far as the movie goes I guess I was disappointed. I don't really know. I did enjoy the movie, well until the end. I won't give you any spoilers, but let's just say the ended destroyed many of my hopes and dreams. What happened to Rogue angered me the most, she was always one of my favorites and well ... Anyways, sitting in the theater I was reminded of something.

During my year abroad I discovered that Russians applaud really um odd. After every play, concert, or even the occasional movie, they would applaud. Nothing too weird right? Well, unlike most, the clapping ALWAYS ended up synchronized, always. They clap at the same time, like to a beat that wasn't there. I don't really like clapping in synch, I find it annoying. But, I find this interesting, in my experience audiences don't usually do this.

понедельник, мая 22, 2006


Well 10 months, 2 semesters, over 4300 hits, and 160 posts later I've returned home. It's quite a feeling. I'm so glad to be back. My own room, my family and friends, I just can't complain! So what's next? Well, I've still got a few things to go over, and a few stories that haven't made the blog yet. I guess I'll still be around for a couple more months. Who knows, perhaps there's yet another blog in the future. Anyways thanks to everyone for following me through this year and all my ups and downs.

среда, мая 17, 2006

End of the Semester

Yes today officallt ended my year abroad with my last day of class. Man I am so glad to be done for the summer. I can't wait to get home and do nothing for a change. This week has been pretty wired. I 've been running around here and there more times than I can count. We had our big banquet last night and today will be my last meeting with my tutor. After that I'll pretty much be packing until I leave.

As far as packing goes, I'm sure I'll be leaving plenty behind. I simply have to much stuff collected over 2 semesters and not enough strength points or item slots to hold it all.

I do belive I might fit a post in tomorrow, but if I don't until Amercia everybody! I hope to see many of you when I get home too!

понедельник, мая 15, 2006


Here is probably my best Sochi adventure. Myself and 4 friends were walking back to our hotel after a walk on the beach on our first day in Sochi. On the way we come across an ad for a Mexican restaurant. Of course we can’t pass up the opportunity for Mexican, so we make a pledge right there to find this place. (This pledge will actually start to consume us later on, but that’s a different story). Anyways, the ad had no address, so we pick a path and go. Now Sochi is pretty built up, but the path we chose somehow lead us into what was almost a little hidden valley town within Sochi. The road was small and bordered houses, each with a fence up to the road. Basically it was like walking down a deserted corridor, we really had now choice but to follow the one path. After about en minutes we realize that we can’t really get back to the main roads from where we are. We can either turn back or keep going. Seeing no reason to turn back we push on. After a few minutes we come to a separation of the path. One direction continues in our current direction. The other takes a winding way up the one side of this valley. We choose to continue our chosen path. This eventually leads us across the small stream at the center of the valley and up a short path.

Here is where we found a problem. Walking up this path, we start to worry a little bit, it seems to be leading to a dead in. We come into a clearing with a house and large garage. Looking around we see about 3 dogs laying in the grass, two in one spot, one in another. We seem to lock eyes and suddenly they realize they’re not alone. It begins with backing, then other dog joins in the noise making from an unseen area. We stop in the middle of the clearing. That is when we notice the dogs have come pretty close to surrounding us and are starting to cut off our exit. We start to back out and the dogs hold their ground. No more than a few feet from us, they are barking like crazy. Their leader seems the most eager, and as I walk past him his eyes are wide open, like big marbles, completely round and completely white. I never seen a dog look like that before, the dead eyes.

We continued to back out and the dogs continued to follow. After a couple more meters they finally retreat. The whole group is very aware as to how close that came to getting rather ugly. Although we all agreed we could’ve taken those uppity dogs, we thought it was best we didn’t have to try. We made our way back to the fork in the road and took the other path, which did turn out to be the correct road and we finally made it back to the hotel. But I wasn’t the only one to notice that dog’s dead eyes and upon further recollection they were pretty creepy.

Recap and stuff

So when I last left you guys I was on my way to Sochi. I had classes, exams, and at least 3 weeks of Russia ahead of me. Well, things have changed a bit. Due to the continuation of time, those 3 weeks have all but vanished, leaving a mere 4 days and change left of my time in Russia. So what happened in those 3 weeks? Well al lot to be honest. I won’t, that is, I don’t want to go into everything right now (at least not in this post). Basically Sochi was a nice 10 days away from school and responsibility. The weather was colder than I would have like (colder than Vladimir in fact). There was a lot of rain, which really cuts down on what you can do in a beach town. Despite that I had a great time, there was good food, a lot of free time, a beach, tons of waterfalls, and a relaxing atmosphere. Sochi’s landscape really reminded me of Maryland, specifically the Appalachian region around where I live. There are rolling hills and mountains, the Black Sea, and even palm trees (although those are thanks to Stalin). The train ride in general was ok, I guess as good as 36 hours on a train can be. I have some good stories, but I’ll save them for another post.

Ok so that was only ten days right? Right, after we got back our schedules kind of exploded. We only had 6 days of class left, about ten days in total, and a ton of test to get through. We had meetings with ACTR bigwigs and about 3 hours of testing. Actually, Saturday I took my OPI (oral proficiency test). My tester told me she saw a lot of improvement from December, so I hope that means I might get at least an intermediate high rating, which would put me where I need to be. Exams are almost finished now, Monday, today I guess, is/was my last (I’m typing this on Sunday).

Right, so what’s left? Monday is my final exam. Tuesday we have our end of the year banquet. Wednesday will be my last day of class (yes we do still have class after our finals!). Thursday I’ll be packing all day and at Midnight we leave Vladimir forever and drove to Moscow for our 7 am flight. Just over 4 days!

пятница, мая 12, 2006

Gosh it's been a while

I think it's actually been two weeks since my last post. Wow, how the time flys. To be honest, this week has been rather busy. Apparently I received one too many important emails during my little vacation and it took some time getting through it all. But here I am I suppose. Unfortunetly I'm low on time right now. Most of my new posts will have to wait until tomorrow or the next day or the next. I only have a week left in this country and things are getting insanly busy. BUT, I do have some interesting stories to tell, so do look forward to them.

Back Again! Hope you are all still there!

четверг, апреля 27, 2006

Easter and Sochi

So it's the end of the week and in about 24 hours I'll be off to Sochi for 10 days. Man have I been waiting for this! The last two weeks have been pretty grueling, lots of work with school and stuff. This will certainly be a nice little vacation. The train ride there will take about 36 hours, plus will be going down 3rd class, which means everyone hasa bed, but no walls. It's all open to the whole train. I will be hot and long and possible smelly by the end, there are no showers on this trains. But it's all worth it, cause the weather in Sochi is supposed to be excellent and there is the Black Sea and tons of waterfalls and beaches and a Mcdonalds I believe. This also means I'll be pretty silent until about May 9th or 10th. I might send off a quick post if I find a Internet cafe in Sochi, but don't count on it. Well, don't worry, I'll have plenty of posts prepared upon my return, so look forward to it.

I also wanted to mention that I did succesfully attend the Orthodox Easter services last Sat/Sun. Yep all 6 hours of it. Man, I didn't realize just how long that Mass was going to be. I also didn't realize I had the stamina to stand for 6 hours (no seats in Orthodox churhes). But it was worht the experience. The Mass was held in the Asuumption Cathedral here in Vladimir, which is very beautiful and covered in frescos and many other things. Un fortunetely I haven't had the time to sit down and really write a good post on how the Mass went, but don't worry I will! (Here's a hint it's pretty much the same as a Catholic Easter Vigil, but twice as long).

Anyways till Sochi or after Sochi or whenever, don't worry I'll return!