Friday, October 27, 2006


The sun woke me up this morning. Though I still had trouble leaping out of bed and being outrageously productive, which was my intent before I went to sleep last night.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

High Fashion

Molly and I have really been bonding. We both went to school in Colorado. We suffer through Wed night conversation classes together. Tonight, we realized something truly special.

There I was, telling a story about class... watching Molly's eyes get bigger and bigger while she stared harder and harder at my leg...and finally blurted out "Nicole, we have the same socks!"

And so we do. What good taste. Here we are in all our glory.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Julia Child

Yesterday, Sara and I spent many hours together at the American Home (an event indistinguishable from other days, except that it was Saturday and everyone else had already gone home). Around 830 PM we finally left, and she invited me over for dinner, which made us both happy. Opening the fridge, we found an amazing supply of meat and cheese, which we duly divided into two portions. To supplement our hearty feast, we sliced an onion and a tomato into a frying pan, added some rice, and the essential Russian cooking ingredient - cracked an egg over the top. It came out rather well. I think we're ready for our own show.

Identity Confusion

I love the plaque at the bottom of this monument. Russia's current identity isn't very clear but despite sometimes feeling more Soviet than European, this note tells us that part of history is over:

Built in 1829
Destroyed in 1931
Rebuilt in 2005

I'm not sure what the monument is for, but I guess it wasn't popular during the Communist era.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Novie Opit (new experience)

Yaroslavl: yar a slavl (n) 1: a grand adventure 2: a state of exhaustion reached after prolonged sleeplessness 3: an ancient and beautiful city in Russia

Our story begins Saturday morning at the Autovokzal (bus station). Despite losing my first ticket, I was able to buy another one and talk my way onto the bus with the help of the station manager. The trip took 5 hrs and included a stop in Ivanova - the most depressing city I've ever seen, whose main industries are fabrics and textiles. Yaroslavl is bigger than Vladimir, but smaller than Nizhny Novgorod.

We visited many churches, including "Elijah the Prophet" and another undergoing repairs where we befriended a woman working in the store, who has a daughter our age and gave us all small icons for our wallets. The Volga was beautiful, during the day and when we walked along it at night. To save money, we stayed up all night instead of getting a hotel. I have many stories from this trip, but for now, I just wanted to share pictures of the city.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Gentlewoman Caller

Sasha came to Vladimir this weekend. Catching a train from St. Petersburg to Moscow and then here, I met her at the train station and we ate lunch with friends at an Azerbaijani restaurant. Saturday night, we walked in the park and watched a traveling street performer wave fire around. There was something so reassuring and comfortable about having a family member in town. Her host family sent us apples from their dacha, and my host family had a huge dinner party. I discovered my host mother drinks after all, and had to do 2.5 vodka shots with her, though I'd avoided it so far this trip. Everyone had fun. On Sunday we went to the cathedral and for a long walk around town. The leaves are beautiful right now.