Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sleeping district

Have you ever fallen in love with a place before you'd been there? That's how I felt about Nizhny Novgorod- I loved the city for years, just from the sound of its name. (All those consonants!) I would read on the internet about how the Oka river divides the city into two parts, how a Kremlin of red bricks is perched on a hill above the Oka, and just how awesome the place was in general.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The day of blah

This was probably the best part of today- the sunset. It was one of those days when everything is off. For example, it's been really difficult to work while here, and this morning just as I was sitting down to catch up and record this week's audio lessons... cue a loud thunderstorm. For six hours.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Switzerland Park

Sveta is totally in her element as a tour guide.

We've been to a concert. To a movie. To a cafe. To the main pedestrian street. To tea in the dorms. Last Saturday she even took me to парк «швейцария», Switzerland Park, a big park that's a quick bus ride from the university. When I heard "park", I was thinking something grandiose along the lines of Kharkiv's Gorky Park.

Uh, nope.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

DITL: Russian Summer School

 A Day in the Life: Russian Summer School

6:30 AM: Wake up and make the bed.

7:30 AM: If not feeling too lazy, join a few other students for a run at the local track.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Registration Day

Instead of celebrating the 4th of July in the traditional American way (fireworks galore), it was done Russian-style this year. And let's be honest- what could possibly be more traditionally Russian than paperwork and really long public speeches?

Monday, July 4th was Registration Day at Lobachevsky University. The morning was divided up into 30-minute meetings... except for "Local Rules and Procedures", which got an entire 45 minutes. Here's how it all happened that day-

A. Find the right room in the right building.

B. Begin the paperwork. There are about 5 pages, all in Russian, so good luck ;)

C. Speeches. Introductions to VIPs and lots (and lots) of rules to follow.

D. Time for a language test! We were given 30 minutes to write a short essay in Russian and answer 150 multiple choice grammar questions.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Two nights on planes

The trip to get to Nizhny Novgorod was not much fun. In this age of instant messages and Skype lessons between different time zones, I forgot exactly how far apart the west coast of the US and Russia are. You can't simply race the sun west. It's always east, east, and then more east until you at last reach Russia.

The first plane left Portland at midnight. Are you ready for this? ;)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Snapshots of Russian Life

#1. The country's first monument to Jules Verne, overlooking the Volga and Oka rivers.

Here are 13 pictures to show you what these first few days in Nizhny Novgorod have been like. (Because, of course, even numbers are unlucky in Russia.)

#2. The dorm room.
#3. Welcome lunch at the university.
#4. Some of Nizhny's churches.