Firstly, I have exciting news - I have a job! Yes, a Russian job! How exciting. Well, not that exciting, it's only teaching English, but it should be fun. My first class is on Monday at the biggest beer brewery in the whole of Russia, Baltika. The brand is owned by Carlsberg and pretty much has a monopoly on beer sales here, so it's pretty cool - shame I don't like beer though! I wasn't planning on getting a job here, but then I thought about how much time I waste doing nothing, and it'd be nice to have some extra cash, so I thought I may as well use my time a bit more productively. It's good money as well... We'll see how it goes.
I also went to the Hermitage again since my last update. It was nice to see some of the things I didn't see the last time I visited, such as Mattisse's 'Danse', 'Madonna Litta' by Leonardo da Vinci, and the stunning moving peacock clock made out of gold. I'm sure it won't be my last trip there, as there is still so much to see (and it's free!)... I think this is the only cultural thing I've done in the last few weeks, which is a little embarrassing, though I do still have plenty of time for sightseeing, especially when my parents come and visit! My mum has actually booked her trip here, she arrives on the 16th of January with her boyfriend - I'm so excited! It'll be so cool to show my mum the city I absolutely adore, and I'm also looking forward to English treats brought from home :D
I'm racking my brains trying to think of all the stuff I've done since my last update... This is the main reason I need to update more - my memory is terrible. It feels like I've mainly been shopping, basically. An amazing new shopping centre has opened 15 minutes walk from my house. It took 3 years to build and opened a couple of weeks ago, so the locals seem fairly excited about it and I'm quite happy to get in on the fun too. It's absolutely massive and has tons of new shops, including a few more English ones - yay! I've been three times already, oops.
I've had a few nights out recently, as well, though none were particularly crazy... Which is probably for the best! I really do enjoy Russian bars and clubs, even if they are a little smoky. Today I tried my first glass of 'fruity beer', and it was rather delicious. I really dislike beer usually, but the fruit quite overpowers the taste of the beer. I tried the cherry and apple ones today, but intend to try the rest of the wide range of flavours available...
I suppose the only other notable thing I need to mention is that the weather has changed dramatically since my last post... Nowadays, -16 is a normal daytime temperature. Anything above this is a great bonus! So anyone in England moaning about the cold, please feel for me before you do so. The snow here is great fun, though I might not be saying that anymore if I slip over, something I'm really scared of doing. It's so dry and flaky, it feels fake! Then again, I've never really been out in proper snow - Plymouth always seems to miss out - maybe this is what it's always like!
This has actually proved to be a much shorter post than I was expecting it to be... Perhaps it's because I'm tired and want to go to bed, or perhaps it's because I have a terrible memory and can't actually think of anything else to talk about, I don't know! I'm sure I'll think of something I've missed - I really feel like I've done more than the above in the last few weeks... Anyway, I'll end with some pictures of the snow I've taken around the city :)
(Left: An avenue of trees in Park Pobedy; Right: A ferris wheel I thought looked cool at Park Pobedy)
(Me in Park Pobedy - that's a frozen lake behind me!)
(An example of the epically big icicles one can find here... People get killed by them every year apparently)
Okay, that's all! Naomi :)