Thursday, January 31, 2008

Novosibirsk - Day 9

Today was a pretty long day. I went to bed pretty late last night (~2:30 am), and my internal alarm went off about 3 minutes before my Tungsten T|X alarm (B'DEEEE) went off @ around 7:30 am. I laid in bed for a while debating on whether or not I should try to get another 30 minutes of sleep, but eventually opted against it and got up.

I was pretty much ready to leave the flat around 8:15, but I had already agreed to meet Semyon at the Gorodok @ 9:30 am. I decided to catch up on my blog role a bit while I let the clock tick away. Semyon and I eventually met at the Gorodok and had some good conversation, then decided to walk to the office. He was a bit reluctant to walk with me, but eventually agreed to join me. We actually power walked there because he was a bit late for his daily sprint meeting (btw: it is not my fault he was late). :)

By the time I got to work, my left foot was in some pretty nasty pain between my big toe and the one next to it. I'm not sure if I pulled something during my power-walk with Semyon, or if I screwed it up on Saturday when I was skiing with Konstantin and Alex. I remember that this area was in some pain as I was making my way up some of the hills with my ski's on... Basically, I was hyper extending my feet around the ski's so I could put my ski shoes on the snow and not slide backwards. It was causing pain in my big toe's because my toes were locked into place and my foot was twisting around the foot plate (not recommended). After about 1 hour of this hyper-extended noob move, they started to shriek in pain here and there. I had forgotten about that whole situation until I got to the office and sat down. I very well could have (yet another) stress fracture, for that is what it kinda feels like. This sucks! My feet have been getting on my nerves lately; either I'm being to hard on them, or if they are just being sissies. :) I've been very good about not running for the last 3+ weeks due to the other minor stress fracture in my right foot. It's been killing me not to run, but I keep reminding myself that if it will pay off come "race season". I'd better cool it and let them heal now during my "down time". However, after todays' walk, I'm getting a little frustrated and I'm about to just gonna say screw it and get back into my weekly mileage.

So anyway, I decided to work in the conference room today and not with my team upstairs. The entire team that I work with are all on the 5th floor, but the heating system is pretty intense up there and it stays pretty warm. That along with my sub zero wardrobe makes me pretty hot for the most part. Today I kicked it down stairs with Scott and stayed fairly comfortable for the most part. Tomorrow I may dress down a bit so that I can go back upstairs and zone out. There are some distractions of the conference room (especially with that Wii staring at me all day). Plus, I really do enjoy being in the same room with my team... I can almost feel the synergy up there. :)

I didn't do anything cool today or go anywhere exotic for lunch. I didn't even do any Wii-ing. I just sat at the conference table and worked until 5ish. Around that time I packed up and headed out the door for my long trek back home. I wanted to get home in time to see Lizzie and Jazzy before Lizzie went to school, then I wanted to do a couple of laps around the "Scientist Loop" with my reflective clothing and head lamp (yes I brought it) before it got too late. Well, about 50 meters from the office, I took a NASTY fall on the ice. I had my hands in my pocket, so I wasn't able to catch myself on the way down... It happened so fast... but essentially my feet slid out from under me and I fell knee first with all of my weight on my left knee bone. OUCH!!! I knew it was a nasty one as soon as I landed on it. I hunkered over for a few seconds trying to just let the pain come full force and get it over with. Then I got up and began my walk home. Clearly I'm a noob with all this ice... Note to self: take hands out of pockets when walking on ice. I'm sure I could have offset some of the impact had my hands been out of my pockets.

When I got back to the flat it was about that time for the girls to be ringing so I got setup and they called me almost as soon as I got my pc linked up. Of course, Jazzy woke up about 2 minutes into the call. It's funny, because Jazzy gets up with Lizzie every morning to eat breakfast and then goes back to bed with Jennifer. Nobody wakes her up, she just wakes up. As much as I'd like to think she does it for moral support, I honestly think she just doesn't want to miss anything. :) Regardless, it's nice to talk with them both on Skype while they eat their breakfast and yawn and stretch.

After the Skype meeting, my feet and my knee were both begging me not to run, so I obliged. Instead I did some dishes and picked up around the flat a bit. I am sooooo bacheloring it over here! I have dirty clothes laying in like 4 piles. I have clean clothes folded and laying in a 5th pile. My bed isn't made. My fridge consists of thawed out butter, 2 huge jugs of water, and 2 bottles of beer. My table has a tray of wafers and a basket of mandarin oranges. Best of all... my toilet seat is permanently UP! I actually had to force myself to do that, because I'm so trained to just put it down. This is really the only time I could even try to enjoy such a luxury, so I de-trained myself for these few weeks. :)

Once the flat was put back together, I sat down on the couch and caught up on a few things for work before calling it a night. It is now... 11pm and I'm ready for bed. Depending on how my lower body feels tomorrow morning, I may force myself out of the flat and put in some miles. I'm really itching to get out and run... yes even in Siberia. :)

Siberian Hot Water
Today's fast fact is about the hot water situation in my flat. When I got here, I noticed that there was a large tank above my shower and I had no idea what it was for. I assumed it was reservoir for water to fill up and then I had to pull a lever or something to let water trickle onto me. I'd never seen this before and failed to ask Oleg or Scott what it was for. Honestly I still don't know what it's for, but I've come to accept it's place in the bathroom. :) I'm sure somebody will tell me tomorrow once this post makes it into everybody's feed readers... If so, I'll update the Comments section. :)

HOWEVER (all of that is beside the point), when I took my first show, I quickly found out that they do not screw around over here with their hot water. There is cold water or there is scorching hot water. If you need warm water, you basically just tap the faucet 1 mm at a time until you get a (fairly hot) warm water mixture. There is only about 1 cm of play between "melt your skin" hot and "that's kinda cold" cold. I really notice it when I have to wash my hands or brush my teeth (I brush my teeth with hot water... that's "Ohio" hot water, not "Novosibirsk" hot water). :)

Speaking of brushing my teeth, the faucet in the bathroom is a bit... different. For example, when I brush my teeth I'm constantly turning it on and on and on. Basically, I turn on the water and it releases clear magma into the sink, and then it slowly comes to a stop. I then turn it some more and more clear magma comes out... then it subsides again. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with my mystery tank above the shower or not, but I'm learning to accept it as well. I just keep turning it on, then when I'm done melting my teeth, I crank the spicket all the way back to the "off" position.

Just to give you an idea of how hot this water really is (or maybe a glimpse into how lazy I really am) I'm basically just using one glass out of the cupboard. When I need to clean it from any germs or anything, I just put it in the kitchen sink and turn on the hot water. Surely, no germ can withstand that temperature. However, I almost need an oven mit to retrieve my cup from the sink, because it feels like a hot coal that right out of a wood burning stove. I'm totally serious too. :)

Tune in tomorrow, for I'm really gonna try and push that "Q" and "U" wedding idea at the office. :) Just kidding. But I do plan to finally get in another run and maybe go shopping for some souvenirs at the Trade Center. I just didn't feel like it tonight... and I'm aloud to say that... At least for a few more days anyway. :)


Issam Elbaytam said...

The reason it's so hot, is that they have city wide central heat system. You're getting the hot water and heat like we get gas and electricity to the home in the US. My guess it that the closer you are the source the hotter it is. You can see the pipes carrying the hot water (steam) all over town.

Amie said...

i have not laughed this hard in ages.. I had no idea how descriptive you could be. I can picture everything you write about it.. I am hooked on the blog..Thank you for doing it.. Sorry about your fall, but if you used your hands, you could have broken your wrist. Anyway..Takwe it easy and keep us posted.

Luc said...

Issam - It must be next door.

Amie - It's a gift. :) And, yer probably right about the wrist...