Sunday, June 27, 2010
So the weather took a turn for the decidedly apocalyptic on Saturday, so rather risk being washed away whilst riding on a rickety Russian train to nowhere, Natalia Aleksandrovna (my host mom) and I rather wisely decided to stay at home. One day turned into two, and in the end I ended spending a rather lazy weekend at home. To be perfectly honest I was perfectly content to sit at home, drink tea (which I have frighteningly enough developed quite an affinity for),watch dubbed Jean Claude van Damme movies on Russian TV, with a short break to watch the USA lose rather embarrassingly to Ghana, and have a rather lovely chat with Cantor family.
I've come down with a rather nasty cold, so it was good to have a chance to catch on sleep and try and get better. However, getting sick in Russia can be rather interesting, as one then risks being exposed to infamous home remedies. My first experience with Russian home medicine was a rather tame one however. After having first respectfully turned down rubbing mustard on my chest (I just imagined how many showers I would have to text to be wholly clean again) I agreed to try warm wine mixed with spices. I think it would have been good had the wine not been the same homemade wine I had drank with my host dad two weeks before. As you all know, once opened, bottles of wine do anything but improve with age. After having drank several cups of this concoction I can say with confidence that beyond feeling pleasantly warm, my cold did not improve. The funniest part of all this though has been my ongoing battle with Natalia Aleksandrovna over keeping my windows open. The selfsame breeze from an open window that we fight for tooth and nail at my house is considered a serious health hazard here. As soon as the slightest breeze picks up, there's a mad dash to close the double-pained windows (an ominous reminder of the very cold winter that awaits me in a few short months). Apparently almost any ailment or sickness can be traced to an open window and the breath of death that is an outside breeze. I've conceded the rest of the apartment to the Russians but I'm standing fast in defense of the window in my room, which happily ushers warm air and the sound of the birds outside into my bedroom.
So all in all I think the weekend has been a successful one. I've caught up on a lot of sleep, and am ready for a pretty busy week. Tomorrow we're watching a production at the Mariinsky Theater, and I'm hoping to pay a visit to the Hermitage Museum on our free day on Wednesday. That being said, I think this is the first weekend I've started to feel homesick. I realized how much I missed green vegetables (especially lettuce), cake, and life at home in general. Ironically enough, lettuce and cake both were on the menu today, so I'm two for three I guess. Anyway, that about does it from here. I feel bad making a post with at least some picture, so I'm posting some of my favorite pictures from my trip so far I haven't been able to post.