Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Novosibirsk - Day 8

The word of the day is Городок (aka: Gorodok). It's been my favorite hang out so far here in Novosibisk. Semyon and I ate there last night, we met there again this morning and I just got back from there 20 minutes ago.

I woke rather early this morning and got a few things done around the flat before heading out the door. I got to the Городок at 9:20 and decided to go in and order my coffee while I wait for Semyon. About 10 minutes later, I recieved a call from some groggy Russian dude (aka: Semyon (pictured on the left)) and he said he was running a bit late. I said "no problem doood", and I went ahead and placed our orders. Of course, I ordered my usual omelet and went ahead and ordered him his usual breakfast too (fried eggs). This way, by the time he got here, his food would be ready to eat and his coffee would be waiting on him. It worked out quite nicely actually. He showed up, we ate, then we began our trek to the office.

Before leaving the flat, I made sure I had everything for the day, including my camera. I wanted to take some pictures on our walk so that I could upload them to my picasa web when I got back home. However, I failed to check my battery and as it turned out, I would be lugging around a bulky dead camera all day today. I think when I uploaded my video for yesterdays' post, I never turned off my camera, so it just sat out all night until the battery drained out of it. Live and learn.

We had a great walk to work this morning and we talked about a lot of stuff. I explained to him that when I speak to him, I actually slow down my words and articulate the pronunciation so that I don't have to repeat myself and overwhelm him with my shortened speed talk. He indicated that he would rather I speak normally to him (as if I were talking to Scott or something) and that he would still be able to understand me. This is fine with me of course, so I switched back to "Americanized" talking and sure enough, he did a pretty good job. I might try ta screw ithim tomorra tho, an see just how good e really is. ;)

When I got to work, I was able to break out my cool "old man" slippers and war them around the office. The last couple of days, I've been wearing only my new Russian shoes to the office, but they make my feet pretty uncomfortable because they are so warm. Yesterday I actually took them off and was able to turn a few heads in just my socks. In the states, I do this a lot too; and of course in the summer time, it's bare feet most days. I've actually interviewed people in bare feet a few times and I think this usually leaves a lasting impression on how chill our company really is (as if the pool table and basketball hoop didn't say enough). Nevertheless, my slippers were a very good addition to my backpack this morning, as I stayed comfortable and my socks stayed white today.

For lunch, I played a couple of games of Wii Boxing. I found that Wii Boxing is the best game of Wii Sports so far. Granted I still haven't done Golf, Bowling, or... (I think there is one other), but the boxing is very cool. I found myself talking smack to the projector a few times as I threw punches and dodged left and right. This Wii is a great console, especially for a computer company, to have in the break room. I found that after about 3 games (3 rounds each), I was actually moving around quite a bit throwing hooks, jabs, upper cuts, and swaying side to side. As of today, I think boxing is my favorite Wii sport; the others are fun, but this one gets my vote. Plus it's boxing, and... well... 1 word: Rocky. Just ask my Jennifer about my Rocky "fan-hood". :)

After work, I decided to walk back home. It's a 2.5 mile trek and I had a nice brisk walk in the cold. My mustache freezes about 2 minutes after getting outside, and the longer I'm outside, the more ice builds up on it. When I got home from work, my entire upper lip was a big blob of ice. I'll have to take a picture sometime before I come in the flat to show you how silly I look. At first I felt weird walking around the city with a icestache, but realized that most everybody with mustache in Novosibirsk probably has the same problem. It's pretty weird feeling, and it actually thaws out pretty quickly once I get inside.

As soon as I walked in the door, I noticed that it was 6:30pm, which meant it was 7:30am in Newark. This is about the time that Lizzie and Jazzy are eating breakfast. I told Jennifer that I probably wouldn't chat with her today because I was going to do something with Scott and Oksana this evening. However, as I turned out, I was home during our "normal" chat time, so I decided to log in to Skype and see if they were online. At first they weren't, but then after catching up on a few blogs in my blog reader, I got the call and there they were. :) We only talked for about 5 minutes or so, but it was great. I guess Ohio weather got nutty last night (high winds, freezing temperatures, etc...) and people were loosing power and all that good stuff.

After the Skype call, I thought it would be a good idea to start filling out some of my post cards before Scott and Oksana called. I got these post cards at the trade center the other day and I was rather surprised to see that all of them are actually post cards of summer time. I would think that in a place where snow is abundant 75% of the year, you would expect to see (at least 1) post card with snow, but this is not the case. Regardless, they are beautiful post cards. I've heard from numerous people that it is beautiful here when the snow goes away, and I totally believe it! The satellite images in Google Maps and Google Earth, show that the trees consume approximately 90% of the overall terrain and I can only imagine what it looks like from the ground. Plus I bet it is very refreshing to breath in such clean air. Perhaps one day I'll be able to come back during their 3 months of summer. Until then I just have to take peoples word for it and see pictures... and post cards.

Scott called after I got about 2 post cards done and asked if I wanted to eat at the Городок... hell yeah! I love this place! Guess what I ordered? Go ahead... If you said Caesar Salad, then you are right! Oksana ordered me a very popular hot wine drink, but I didn't find it to be as refreshing as it looked. I drank about half of it and thanked her for the suggestion, but I wasn't able to finish it and enjoyed some green tea instead. We had a very good time and I really enjoyed their company. I think it is safe to say that they too are a very "cute couple". I think that they, along with Konstantin and Iris, and Jennifer and I all need to get together and just sit around and be "cute" somewhere. I'm noticing that I'm using this word a lot and I don't think that it's socially acceptable for a guy (like myself) to be using it so much... The next time I decide to say [said word], I'll say "tough" instead. That sounds more... yeah, tough. :)

When we finished dinner, I walked back home and here I am getting ready to do a bit of pc work before going to bed. I have to meet Semyon at... you guessed it, the Городок in about 10 hours. Before I leave Novosibirsk, they are going to know me as the Регулярные Иностранец (look it up).

Russian Lingo
For todays' lesson, let's break down some of the words that you've seen on my posts.

1.) The first word will be (of course): Городок
  • The first letter is Г which is actually equivalent to our "G".
  • The second, fourth, and sixth letters are all "o"'s and they sound just like Englishki "o"'s.
  • The third letter is "р" which is equivalent to our "R".
  • The fifth letter is "д" which is equivalent to our "D".
  • Lastly, the seventh letter is "к" which is the same: "K".
So there you have it: Gorodok

2.) The second word is: Новосибирск
  • The first letter is "Н" which is the same as our "N"
  • The second and fourth letters are more "o"'s (which we discussed above).
  • The third letter is "в" which is equivalent to our "V"
  • The fifth letter is "с" which is the same as our "S"
  • The sixth and eighth letters are "и", which are similar to our "e" or "i" (in this case "i").
  • The seventh letter is "б" which looks (a bit) and sounds just like our "B"
  • The rest of the letters you've seen already. :) "р" = "R" / "с" = "S" / "к" = "K"
And there you have it: Novosibirsk

3.) Lastly: Лукас
  • The first letter is "Л", which is the same our our "L"
  • The second letter is "у", which makes a "oo" sound (like 'noodle').
  • The third letter is "к" which (still) sounds like our "K"
  • The fourth letter is "а", which sounds just like our "A"
  • And the fifth letter is "с" which (still) sounds like our "S"
Viola: Lucas

Ok, now for a pop quiz:

What does this say?
  • Гуд Водка Глас
See??? Before you started reading this post, you would have never known how to pronounce that!

Tune in tomorrow, for I'm going to try to take a run sometime and maybe do some solo-shopping at the trade center. I may touch a bit on the "hot water" situation over here. Ouch!...


James said...

How are you typing all of the Cyrillic characters?

We definiately need to see a picture of your icestache :)

Luc said...

I use google translator, (copy / paste) but you can also get to them from your regional settings. After yesterdays' post, I may just setup my regional settings and begin using it instead. I did so much back and forth trying to get the exact letter that I would have saved a lot of time had I just set up my pc with Cyrillic characters...

Unknown said...

I enjoy reading every word of your blog. Everyday I can't wait to get home and read about your next adventure! I'd like to see the icestache too!