bloom and grow forever

I'm sure the Baroness will be able to make things fine for you. If not, a year in Russia sure will.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

not the first time it's happened

I went to the post office today to mail some cards to America. I joined a depressing line of people and assumed I'd be there for hours. But no! One after another, people started leaving. As I made my hastened way to the counter, I overheard the reason: the post office was out of stamps. Yes, the post office. Oh, but they had other things for sale! Laundry detergent, for example. Bedsheets.

But I was prepared. I'd bought a ton of stamps early in the year and had been carrying them around with me for just such an occasion. When I got up to the counter, they started to turn me away, but as soon as I explained that I'd brought my own stamps, the clerks smiled and congratulated me on my cleverness. I thought briefly of standing outside and stamp-scalping at exorbitant rates, but decided my one small victory was enough.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

fun within a hundred meter radius

Way back in the time of Mongol invasions, Vladimirians built big hills for defense. Along with the Golden Gates, Assumption Cathedral and St. Demetrius Cathedral, these hills have survived the centuries. But they're way more fun than the churches, and we've got one right on our street. We went sledding the other day - not on tubes, toboggans, or the neon, molded-plastic sleds of childhood - no, we discovered that on a hill of such dramatic, Mongol-defeating (well, not really) incline, all we'd need is a plastic grocery bag. Flying down a hill, shrieking and tumbling in the snow is just the way to get psyched for another round of three AII classes.

Across from this magnificent hill is the drama theater, where I recently saw Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard for a mere 60 rubles. Comprehension was up above 50%, so that was awesome.

And venturing slightly further afield (three bus stops), off a tip from one of my ZI students, I went to a club called Yo last Saturday to hear an Irish band fiddle and dance and sing about whiskey.