Today was a great day. I got to sleep in a bit this morning, and it felt pretty good. I woke up at 10:30am and got ready for my long walk to work. While checking my email before heading out the door, Jennifer pinged me and I was able to chat with her and the girls for a while.
tough" together. :) I really wanted to make conversation with her, but I didn't want to be rude and expect her to speak English to me, so I just smiled a lot, like this :D.
This place was a real Italian diner that was joined together with a coffee shop and a Russian restaurant. It had free wifi and an old school phone booth like in Superman. I ordered a slice of pepperoni pizza, a slice of Hawaiian pizza (yes, it's even called 'Hawaiian' pizza over here), and a beer. I had a heck of a time figuring out what I ordered when the food came. Apparently I was eating somebody else's quesadillas, but nobody stopped me. :) I honestly thought it was my pizza, and I was totally confused as to why everybody else around me had "normal" looking pizza's while I had these folded "tortilla pizzas". I figured I just screwed up when I told the cashier what I wanted, so I just kept eating figuring that it was just what I ordered. Eventually it was brought to my attention that I was eating somebody else's food. :) We had a good time to say the least, more confusion was sparked when the waitress brought more food than we ordered. It was a huge guessing game at this point. :D
After this (rather fun) excursion, we all headed back to the office and worked until about 7:30pm - 8pm. I got a ride home from Maxim tonight because it was pretty dark and I simply didn't feel like walking home in the cold tonight. When I got home, I immediately opened the computer and spent the rest of the night finishing up my work related items. I told you it wasn't a very exciting day. :) I chatted with my girls for a good while tonight while I was working and told them all about my plans for the weekend. Lizzie told me about her wedding day with "Q" and "U" (apparently the wedding was on Thursday... who get's married on Thursday anyway?). Good thing too because Lizzie didn't have school today (Friday) because of the weather. Apparently there was ice everywhere and Newark isn't prepared for such weather like Novosibirsk is. I wonder how many "snow days" the kids over here get...?
Jennifer is doing something pretty cool at home while I'm away. She and the girls have made a "Daddy Chain". Basically it's just a chain of paper hoops that they made the day I left (Lizzie and Jazzy both made one) and with each passing day they take a ring off of this chain. As the chain gets shorter, I am that much closer to coming home. This is pretty cool! The girls tell me how many rings I have left each day so that I know exactly how many more days until I come home. Today they informed me that there are only 13 rings left. :) That means I'm almost there! Boy, that Mommy, she's pretty innovative! They don't really understand "3 weeks" or "2 weeks" yet, so this was a great way for the girls to really "see" how long I was going to be gone and keep track of when I'll be coming back home.
Ok, so the big news for this weekend is as follows. Tomorrow (today actually), I'm going to the city with Scott, Oksana, Maxim, and Lena. We will be doing all of the "touristy" things that tourists do. I'm taking my camera and I'll be sure to take lots of pictures. We are going to try and go to the zoo too. Even when I was in the states, (I think) my mom did some research of Novosibirsk and said that I had to visit the zoo because it was known for having some rare animals. That should be fun.
Then on Sunday, I'm having a little party in my flat. I'm not sure what to expect. I'll probably buy some cards and beer and just wing it. I don't really have a whole lot of things to do in here, but I'm really going to enjoy everybody's company. It stays so quiet in here and it will be nice to liven it up a bit. I invited everybody's family to come too so that it was just a "sweat shop" (American term for 'all guys'). So if you live in Novosibirsk, work at DataWorks, and have nothing to do on Sunday, please join us for some American jokes. Ivan said that he and the others may explain why there are so many locks on the door. :) I said, I would love to know the reason and I'll be sure to wait until we get some beers in us before having that conversation. :D
Another thing that has been different about Russia is the way that you pay for things. In America, you either swipe your card into a small little computer, or you just hand the cashier your cash and then they hand you back your change. Well over here it is a bit different and I'm still getting used to it. Basically every cashier (supermarket, restaurant, ma-n-pa shops, etc..) have this tray on the counter that is specifically used to transfer money back and forth. When I pay for something, I'm supposed to put my money into this tray and then the cashier will then take my money from this tray, make change and put it in the tray for me to pick up. Luckily most places around here are pretty leaneant with me once they see that I'm not from around here. Like I said, I'm still getting used to it, but it's definitely different. :)