Today was definitely a blog worthy day. I met people and had an amazing time every single hour, despite being slightly sick. The day started with sitting in Russian class with the 11th grade. After the lesson, we watched a puppet theater in the auditorium. It was very well conducted, and had lots of humor. Tasha, Pear and I were extremely sleepy and cold, sitting in the back of the room, but we noticed that most 3rd graders today wore costumes of princesses, ninjas and cowboys. The crowd resembled what could have been easily mistaken as a Halloween crowd instead. I suppose this is a “Novi God” (New Years) tradition in Russia. I definitely admire it. Proceeding the play, we congregated in the sports hall. The children paraded their exciting outfits, while mascots of Baba Yaga, Ded Moroz (their version of Santa), a Green Wood Nymph, Snegurushka and a cat led them. They also played their Russian version of the Hokey Pokey and “If You’re Happy and You Know It” songs in the gym.
The girls and I left a bit early for lunch. It was 10:55 to be exact. Then afterwards, we did not have the usual 5 lessons that we do every Tuesday. Tasha went home to prepare for her piano recital later this night. Meanwhile, Pear and I headed to the Mega Mall to finish Christmas/New Years shopping for friends and host families. We were then later joined by Joe and Tamara. This mall has around 5 floors, and we spent 4 hours here. It’s big, but not terribly exciting in my opinion…clothing in Russia is super expensive, so that rules out most of the fun that existed when my friends shopped in American malls. (In fact, it might be the second most expensive country to buy clothes in.)
But on the happier note, I met a 25-year old Russian woman. She finished university not too long ago, and has a Nepalese boyfriend. She’s studied English for two years, but she speaks like she’s known it much longer. But that’s not what blows my mind…She’s lived in Vietnam with her boyfriend, so she knows a bit of Vietnamese! During my stay in Russia, I never thought I would meet anyone who know even a glimpse of Vietnamese, but somehow this woman came into my life. She was working at the mall; we spoke in English at first, but she mentioned she lived in Vietnam for a while, and my instinct was to test her Vietnamese then I hugged her. We exchanged phone numbers too. I have so many questions to ask her about her years abroad; she seems very interesting!
I got home around 3. I ate, then napped for an hour, because the mall was a major energy drain. I needed rest anyhow, because I’ve got sinuses and a minor cough. Then later that night, I walked to school to watch Tasha’s concert. There were adorable children playing the piano, accordion and even spoons. They sang as well. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience.
My night was perfect too, because my host family had made dinner. I came to the kitchen flabbergasted because I saw what resembled burritos. My host mother seemed very amused about my enthusiastic reaction about the rolls. I asked my sister and mother if it was burritos, and they chuckled, “You know Spanish too?” in Russian, because I tried to tell them that in California, I ate Mexican food, including Burritos, nearly every day. Oh, if only I could tell them that the food’s name means little donkey too…that would have been great! I never thought in Russia
I would ever be able to eat Mexican food. Albeit, the burritos weren’t spicy, they were quintessentially sufficient!
Life is so darn awesome now. Break begins this Saturday!…And I wish I could tell them about how pomegranates relate to Hades. I must improve my Russian!