Sunday, January 27, 2008

Novosibirsk - Day 5

Well, another great day! As you may have already read, I crashed last night around 5pm and slept through the night for the most part. I woke up here and there, only to roll over on one side and go back to sleep. My stomach was still acting up a bit, but nothing like it was yesterday morning. After talking with some people about my problems, they all feel that it's probably from the change in food & drinks that I've been consuming. I agree, for that is really what it feels like (unwelcome foods).

Anyway, I woke up at 7am and worked on the laptop for a bit, checking off some emails and posting yesterdays' events. Around 8am, I found my girls online and we chatted for a while. Daizi was sleeping, because I guess Jennifer took them all out shopping at the mall and she was pretty sick (high fever, etc..). I enjoyed seeing my other 3 girls though. :) They all got really cool hats at the mall and they modeled them for me. Jennifer actually bought her own ushanka so that we can match when I get home. :) Very cute!

I kicked it around the flat for a while until Scott showed up and then he and I took a 3.5 mile run to the Botanical Gardens which was a bit past the Scientist Area. It was a beautiful area, but of course it was completely covered in snow, so i couldn't really see it in all it's glory. From what everybody tells me though, it's very beautiful in the summer months. I can only take their word for it right now, but believe that this whole place probably looks completely beautiful in the summer months. I am honestly located in the middle of a huge forest. See for yourself:

View Larger Map

It is very pretty in the winter time, so I can only imagine how pretty it is in the summer time. Anyway, we had a great run. Click on my running links to see the actual route that we took. We went through the forest on these very narrow and packed down snow paths, ran down a big hill and up a big hill before reaching the Botanical Gardens, only to turn around and run back. We were both spent by the time we got back to my flat. It was a great run!

When we got back I was able to see a little bit of Ace Ventura Pet Detective, in Russian. :) It was hilarious, even without the words. :) Once we were able to get our bearings back and warmed up a bit, we headed to the Trade Center (close to the ice slides, and the Jelly Belly restaurant). I was able to buy some groceries and then we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the same restaurant that Konstantin took me to yesterday (which I didn't eat). Scott and I "shot the shit" for a while then proceeded to go grocery shopping for some items I've been needing. I have totally been living like a bachelor the last four days. I've had nothing in my refrigerator but some foreign beer and some cheese. Today I got hooked up with all kinds of goodies (snacks, bananas, oranges, mass amounts of bottled water, hand soap, juices, etc...). I'm good to go now!

After Scott left, I blogged for a while and forced myself not to go back to sleep. I was able to get my washing machine working, I did my dishes, watered the plants, organized the flat and so on. This bachelor crap is for the birds. :) Jennifer, I appreciate you! :) Believe it or not, I'm still a bit thrown off on this whole time change. I thought I'd be adjusted by now, but for some reason I just can't shake these "seepies" (kid talk for tired). My stomach has been acting up a bit today still, so that may have something to do with it. Honestly, I have never been one to require much sleep; I hardly ever take naps during the day unless I pull an "all nighter" the night before; I can go for days upon days with only 4 hours of sleep each night with no problem... Yes, I know Mom... it's not good for me, but it's true. :) However, over here, I can't seem to get enough sleep. (?)

So around 6:45, Konstantin and Irrene picked me up and we headed to a very nice Mexican restaurant not so far from here to meet up with Scott and Oksana for dinner. When I got in the car, Konstantin and Irrene said that they read my blog and mentioned that they saw where I stated they were a "cute couple". Needless to say, that in and of itself was cute. :) It's like a recursive method that just never ends here... :) I noticed also that they were playing some O' Sweet Static on their CD player.

We arrived at the Mexican restaurant a little after 7. I think the name of this place was "Amigo". It was very tasty! I had sizzling chicken fajitas and a dark lager (makes you wonder about my stomach, huh?). It was great to just hang out and talk with everybody. We talked about everything. The whole time I was wondering if it was odd for Oksana, Konstantin, and Irrene to be speaking in English? Regardless, I appreciated it, for I didn't feel like I was staring off into space while they talked. :)

After we ate and enjoyed some tea and desert, we got up to play some billiards... It was pretty interesting at first to see the differences in pool over here. We had to schedule a time to play pool because apparently it is in high demand over here to play "American Pool". There is a very similar game called "Billiards" that is played on a table twice the size, where the balls are all white and much bigger, while the pockets are actually much smaller. It looked pretty difficult, so I was happy that Scott and Oksana reserved our "American Pool" table. The guy that was in charge of the pool room actually racked the balls for us on our first game, and then we were off and playing pool for the remainder of the night. I was able to sit and learn some Russian words while the others played pool, and I must say that I'm getting better at understanding the characters. I'm kind of forcing myself to learn this so that I can speak the written words.

When I got home last night, I was able to see my girls again. :) It is true, I can't get enough of them! This time it was a very quick Skype call, we just caught up for a bit since it was fairly uneventful on both sides since our last talk. Jennifer was getting ready to get all of the kids dressed to go outside and play, I was getting ready to catch up on some computer work before tomorrow's (rather big) day. We had some good laughs, while Daizi tried to speak a bit of baby-English, to Jennifer. She would look Jennifer in the face and (very seriously and softly) say "boo ja b'day soo sha dee" or something to that effect, and then point like she knew what she was trying to say. :) It was way to cute! We wrapped up the call, then went about our days. I stayed up 'til about 2:30am preparing some stuff for tomorrow, then went to sleep. My stomach is still in a bit of a conundrum, but I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.

Here is some Russian that I learned yesterday and today:
  • ah-low = Hello
  • skol-ka = How much?
  • dah-vadj = Go ahead!
  • kah-zli-kah = Goat (this is actually an insult... don't use it)
  • svo-kar = Father in law
  • svi-krof = Mother in law
  • oosy = Mustache
  • mno-gah = A lot
  • pir-chah-tach-na-ye at-di-lye-ni-ye = Glove compartment (they don't have these in all cars)... Probably because it is so hard to say. :)
  • prik-rah-ti = Knock it off!
  • Mah-kah-roe-nee = Macaroni :)
  • pach-ti = Almost
Many of these words I simply looked up in my Russian dictionary while the others played pool; hence the randomness of the words. It was a great way to pass the time and learn something while waiting my turn. :)

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