I can't really remember as far back as my last post, so I'm not even sure of everything I need to update about! Therefore I will just stick to the major events rather than describing everything I've done in great detail.
The first major event was the birthday of my flatmate Mike, who turned 21 on October 5th. We celebrated the occasion by going out to our usual haunts, including the new bar we discovered, Barbara. Here they do a lovely alcoholic Slush Puppie-style drink called a Barbarita, which tastes of tropical fruits and is nice and cold and refreshing. This drink is only 50 Rubles, around £1, which also helps... Everyone had a lovely night, and a particular highlight was dancing to the YMCA with some Russian strangers. Mike got suitably drunk considering it was his 21st, so I think we succeeded on that part. Since I've had complaints (not naming any names) about the lack of photos on my blog, here is a picture of me from the night:
In the above photo (taken by my lovely flatmate Maddy), I am holding the aforementioned Barbarita drink.
Another main event from the past few weeks was my visit to Kunstkamera with Pippa. Kunstkamera was the first museum to be built in Petersburg, under orders from Peter I himself. It's supposed to be a museum of anthropology and ethnography, but a lot of people seem to go just to visit the 'Academy of Sciences' room. This room sticks out like a sore thumb within the museum, and I don't really understand why it is here, but basically it just has hundreds of dead babies in jars. Most of them display different genetic mutations found in babies, and I'm not a squeamish person, but it seemed a little excessive having so many of them. It was a truly strange experience. The rest of the museum was pleasant, and contained lots of interesting objects from Peter I's travels around the world, such as costumes, tools and art. The museum was free to get in with our student cards, so I'll probably visit again before I go home, though perhaps I don't need to visit the strange science room next time.
Another exciting development (for me, anyway), is that we discovered a HUGE hypermarket about 10 minutes walk from the flat. It's called Ашан, which is the Russian way of saying Auchan, the name of a large French chain of hypermarkets. You may recognise the name, or the logo below... It feels like being in France when you're walking around, as they sell pretty much everything there and it's all very nice and cheap. I also managed to buy Russian Scrabble there for around £4! Though playing Scrabble in Russian is much harder than I expected, so we play with a dictionary to help us. I'm hoping this will improve my Russian spelling and also my vocabulary. Ашан is basically my new favourite place in the whole of Russia. Ha. And they sell Wagon Wheels!
On Friday, some friends of mine had a flatwarming party, as, like many other people, they had decided to move out of their homestay accommodation. It was a great party, and everyone got rather merry, including myself. I didn't drink that much alcohol, and didn't even feel that drunk on the night itself, though I had one awful hangover on Saturday. It was reminiscent of the hellish hangover I had last year in Russia, and has led me to the conclusion that Russian alcohol messes me up. I'll try not to drink that much again in the future, especially if I don't fancy feeling like death the next day...
In other news, we watched a really good film in my 'kino' (cinema) class last week. It's called Стиляги (Stilyagi) and is about a rock and roll style subculture in 1950s Russia. It's basically a cheesy musical with amazing songs and costumes and I loved it. So if you love the 50s and/or Russian musicals, I highly recommend it.
The only other thing I can think to mention is the fact I've dyed my hair a very bright shade of red. It's a little too bright, if I'm honest, but I'm planning to keep it for the near future at least, as everyone seems to approve. Here's a picture to show how it now looks:
I'll end this post with a little update about my plans for the next few days, just in case I don't post on here again for ages! Tomorrow I'm supposed to be going to an exhibition of comic book art at a gallery, with one of my classmates and a Russian girl I met at the party on Friday. I'm quite excited, as I haven't been to any small galleries in Petersburg yet, so it should be interesting! And who doesn't love comics? I also think my new hair will fit in nicely. I have also bought a ticket to a gig on Sunday, which will be my first experience of live music in Russia! Exciting! Though I expect nobody reading this has heard of the band, they are called This Will Destroy You. They're an American post-rock band. They are ruddy good, and I've never seen them live before, so that makes it even more exciting! Hopefully my first Russian gig experience won't be too scary...
Anyway, time to go and finish tidying my messy bedroom! Lots of love, Naomi :)
PS. I've now made it possible to leave comments on my blog without needing an account! Hopefully this means more people will comment? Let's see...