Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Generic blog post title about stuff I've done recently

Spoke too soon about the weather. The rivers are all flowing still, but they're on the rise because it's been raining for the last three days. Lovely. The temperature has dropped a fair bit too, but now that I've been out without my polar gear, I refuse to go back. As such, I am getting death looks from the babushki and stares from the general Russian population for being under dressed. Thankfully, however, Victor is in Voronezh for two weeks, so I'm getting away with going out dressed normally without being told that I'll catch my death without a hat, scarf and boots.
I don't know why he's in Voronezh, but I'm enjoying the break. Victor is lovely, but I'm not used to being mothered and I'm getting a bit fed up of being told that I'm not eating when actually I am, and getting told off for sitting against a wall because my back will suffer. And, of course, I've now been entrusted to complete the lamp routine by myself. Naturally, this means I've been completely neglecting it.

The all powerful lamp
Victor means well. The problem is that he thinks everything can be solved with his bloody lamp. The scar healing technology he so worships originates in China (and I am suspicious over the reliability of their results) and his lamp is Russian. It has nothing to do with the medical 'technology' from China, and I'd happily put money on it being completely ineffectual, although I suspect there's an element of the placebo effect at work. My flatmate here has experienced the lamp, and agrees it's bull. Victor also likes to place a stone between his ribs every so often and smack down on it, because it 'makes him strong'...somehow. Like me, the strongest protest he's been able to summon is 'bolno, Victor....bolno' - ie, that hurts. The thing is, with me, it really really really hurts. When I tell Victor that maybe we should forget the 'Chinese face massage' because the neuralgia is playing up, he takes that as cue to get the lamp out and press into the side of my face afflicted with what is fondly known as 'the suicide disease'. It's not doing me any good, as attested by the dentist, who I visited for the 2nd time today.

The accordion trance which so accosted my ear when I rang for the original appointment was definitely not an indication of poor care. I went to the top private clinic in St Petersburg, opposite Kazan Cathedral in one direction and the Church on Spilled Blood in the other. Prime location. A little thrown by the claim of being an 'international clinic' when nobody seemed to speak English initially, the cleanliness of the place and the unusal friendliness of the staff calmed me down. We muddled through the actual examination in ruglish blend of languages and I was given medication and a wonderfully small bill. Today's appointment revealed that, surprise of surprises, I need to visit a neurologist. I don't really get what's going on with my body at the moment, but my feet are, well, vibrating- or it feels like they are, and I'm dropping everything and tripping all the time in addition to having weird sensations like water trickling down my arms and face. Declined the offer to make an appointment with the neuro there in the hope that my email to my own doctor will shed some light first. If I can actually make it through a term without ending up in hospital over something, it will be a miracle. My year abroad tutor will be so proud of me.

In lighter news, my friend had a birthday last week, and we all went to TGIs to celebrate. It was nommy. I had decided that it was completely necessary for him to receive a balloon on his 21st, and so earlier that day I wandered around looking for something appropriate.

Once I'd seen it, I knew it was perfect. Passed up the usual Happy Birthday round balloons for this beauty:

Introducing Jerry the Cow
I have previously talked about the need to blend in when in Russia. Carrying this around the city did not help. But I love him. Apparently, his name is Jerry.

Then, on Sunday, it was Russian Easter. I think this is just Orthodox Easter, because it's also when the Greeks celebrate, but whatever. Over here, there are no chocolate eggs. It's purely a religious holiday, rather than the Festival of Chocolate which it really is at home. Certain supermarkets in England, so I'm told from someone behind the scenes, have had chocolate eggs in since Boxing day, which is absurd in every way. Here, you wouldn't have known it was Easter other than the abundance of specially baked 'Kulich'- a type of cake with fruit in and some kind of topping. It's really pretty good, although I quite enjoy the packaging of Easter eggs at home...I'm easily taken in by advertising, clearly. Fortunately the supermarkets here play such intensely awful music, similar to that you'll hear on the sims, that I don't stick around long enough to be taken in by anything.
Easter cake - 'кулич'
It's staying light until almost 10pm at the moment, a sign that Summer is indeed coming, not that anyone really seems to believe me that it will get really hot, because the weather has shown zero sign that it's capable of anything over 15degrees. When I was here in first year it was at least 30 by 8am and the night just didn't come - it's strange, but something most people are excited to experience. I have 61 days left until I go home, and it's going much quicker than it did in Yaroslavl. Possibly because I'm not being reminded of how many days I have left by other people this time round, but also because it's just more enjoyable here. I should also seriously get on with my year abroad project, which is rapidly starting to induce 'The Fear' in me.
Where is the time going? Probably to the same place as Sir Rolf, my beloved koala, who is lost somewhere in Russia alone. Sad times.

On a final note, I have been drinking tea. A lot of tea. And it's still utterly disgusting. I don't know who came up with the idea that you grow to like a taste, but I can't say I agree. I even tried coffee, but to no avail.
I will never be the pretentious hipster type sitting in Starbucks with a mac and a tall froppamochalattechino now.
Kak zhal. 

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