Wednesday, March 2

The last 6 weeks or so...

My last post was all about my mum & her boyfriend Rod's visit to Russia. They left on January 20th, so I thought I should write a quick update about what I've been up to since then. I'm also getting a little better at regularly updating my blog - it's only 10 days since my last post! The last few weeks have mainly been taken up with going to school, which I started back at on the January 31st. I must say it's been pretty boring, but that's not school's fault or anything, merely my reluctance to do any work! Though I can't really remember most of what I've done outside of school, I will try to recount a few of the major events.

Firstly, my good friend Marion arrived in Petersburg. She studies Russian with me in Manchester, and is spending the whole of her second semester here (Yay!), so we have plenty of plans for fun travels around Russia. She seems to be enjoying herself here so far, so all is good! As of yet we've mainly just been looking around the city (we did A LOT of walking when she first arrived) and shopping, though we did try to go to the Leningrad Blockade Museum, and only failed because it was closed for 'technical reasons'... Here is a picture of said museum, which looked very pretty in the sun. We're going to go back another day, when it will hopefully be open!

Within the last few weeks, we have also started a tradition of going bowling after school on Tuesdays. This is great fun, (sort of) exercise, and is much cheaper than it is in England! You get a lane for an hour for £6, which isn't bad when split between 3 or 4 people. I like the idea of doing it per hour rather than per game as well, so if you play quickly you can get 2 or 3 games in. The bowling place is also right near school so it's really handy for going straight after lessons. A funny thing is that all the computers are in English there, so the attendants have to type our English names in how they think they're spelt. This results in some odd nicknames, for example my friend Helen somehow became 'Alan'. Here is a picture of our score computer from one week, as you can see I was losing pretty badly!

I also went with my flatmate Mike to buy tickets for a gig in April. One of our favourite bands (along with our friend David) - Mogwai - are coming to Petersburg and playing at a club about 20 minutes' walk from our flat. We felt we had to take up the opportunity and got tickets. I'm rather excited!

Another thing that's happened in the last few weeks is that I got a sudden urge to read Russian, and finally finished my book of Russian stories. I swiftly started one of the many other books I've bought since I got here, a fairly simple kids' book about a mouse. I haven't quite finished it yet, but when I do, I intend to start on the first Harry Potter book, which I bought a couple of weeks ago. It would be great to finish it before I go home, but we'll see... Also, I'm not sure if I've mentioned this on here yet, but in Russia, Harry Potter is called 'Garry Potter'. It sounds like some sort of knock-off version, but really they just find it easier to say the name Harry as 'Garry'. This also means our ginger British prince is 'Prince Garry', and Hitler becomes 'Gitler', a rather entertaining fact for many non-Russians.

That's really all I can think to write right now, though if I recall any other recent happenings, I will add them to this post. A combination of laziness and forgetfulness means this is a relatively short post! It's been far too cold here to do a great deal, but now it's starting to warm up I will hopefully start doing more exciting things. This week is 'Pancake Week' in Russia - yes, they have a whole week rather than just a day! - and this weekend I'm planning to go to some of the celebrations for it. They take the whole thing pretty seriously here! I also currently have a provisional plan to visit the nearby city of Novgorod, so if I do end up going I'm sure I'll write about that. Over and out!

Naomi :)

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