Monday, February 11, 2008

Novosibirsk - Day 20 (The End)

This post will be a recap of my time here in Novosibirsk. It will be long and will conclude my impression of all the wonderful people I've met while here. Sure, cheesy, but well deserved. This is the trip of a lifetime, so I'm going to use my blog as my outlet to share my feelings with those that may read this. And believe it or not, I'm not using this blog only to share my experiences with you, but also to look back on them one day and read about each day that I spent here in Akademgorodok.

Before I close up this Russian trip, I must say that my next post will be about code, or running, or my family, or something other than Novosibirsk. So if you only kept up on my blog for my adventure in Novosibirsk, you're free to leave after this. :) Otherwise, I'll keep writing and you can keep reading. Of course I will not commit to writing every day... that's ridiculous and way too OCD. I'll probably write a post when I get home in a few days, maybe a week. It will more than likely take me a whole 5 minutes and will be completely meaningless. These daily journals are fun and interesting, but very time consuming. For example, this one kept me up all night last night. :)

Before I get started, please don't let the order of the names have any relevance to who I liked the most. That's too "high school" for me, I mean... we all totally know that I like Scott the least, and he's not last... so? :)

You were the first one to help me get settled into Novosibirsk off of the plane, along with Konstantin. I enjoy your crazy jokes, but not so much your taste in fish jerky. I had a lot of fun at my party watching you slam down your sissy pink cards from way up over your head. We'll make sure you are able to cut your hair before 2009! :)

Konstantin & Irina
You were at the airport with Oleg and it was your voice that brought me back to sanity "Lyookas". :) It was nice to actually meet you face to face after already knowing you so well over Skype; I feel as though we're close friends now. Irina is a great compliment to you. You two will always be "cute" in my mind. :) I can't tell you how much I love this Russian bib number!! Honestly! And I'll never forget your Russian soldier story! :)

Anna A. & Sasha
I'm very happy that I met you guys. Having you at my first Russian party really made for an extremely fun night. Anna, my first few days with you were great! My Russian and your English made for one hell of a ride to town. :) The first bad word that I learned in Russian was from you that first day, though I'm still not sure if it's "popo" or "grieshka". Maybe I'll look it up. :) Lieutenant Sasha (aka: Moy Ruskie Bradt), I'm glad I got to know you. When we see each other again, we'll start that fight in the streets! Keep driving like a mad man!! :)

To moy other Ruskie bradt. The one thing that we have in common is the happiness that the Chocolat gives us in the morning. :) You really need to switch up your breakfast choice though, man. The omelets are very good, though you continue to eat the same thing..? Sorry for making you late to your daily scrum meeting, but it was your choice. You still owe me a dinner at your flat! And always remember, everybody is crazy but me. :)

Ivan & Family
I'm embarrassed that I cannot remember your wifes name, but I remember that she was extremely nice and she complimented me on my "Russian-ness". You two made one hell of a cute kid too. :) You were a lot of fun at my party and your choice of raw fish was better than Oleg's choice. :) I enjoyed your company at the Chocolat and it was great taking the back way to work, off the main strip for a change. You can get that "Perfect Pushup" online actually if you get bored of the same old "old school" pushups. I hope to see you again soon. :)

Thank you for everything! It was a great decision on your part driving us to downtown Novosibirsk that day. I really enjoyed your company, but not so much your driving. :) No, you're a great driver, it's everybody else on the road!! Seriously though, you made a great tour guide; if things don't work out for you in computers, consider that as an alternative. I still plan to send a post card to you so that you can see that people really do this. Thanks for hanging out with me over here and taking me out to eat all of those times! No matter what anybody tells you from this day forward, your banya leaf smacking skills are stellar. My back is still sizzling with welts. :) THANK YOU SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER!!

Alex S.
You have got some crazy skiing skills my man! Thanks for letting me use your poles after I broke mine; I wonder if they ever found the broken ones. ;) Also, how does it feel to be the producer / director on the most famous video in blog world. Everybody loved that video back home. :) And since nobody did this for you, here goes: Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Aleeeeeeeeeex. Happy birthday to you. :) The link is a bit different, but you get the idea. Next year, you have to force everybody sing!!! Not just me. :)

Julia P.
Thanks for taking me out and showing me how the locals have fun at the "live band" scene. I enjoyed listening to you pick on all the guys in the Apache room. You are right, they are sissy's! Don't tell them I said that of course. Wait a minute...? Seriously though, maybe you should switch to using words like "clouds" and "sky" when they give you a new bug, it's better for everyone that way. Keep growing those booger scrapers and take care of that tooth. Oh yeah, stay away from those Russian toothpicks too!! They're bad for you. ;)

Oksana & Scott
Thanks for showing me around. It was fun eating at the pizza place that first night. It's amazing to see Scott knowing so much Russian. Even though I'm tearing him up with my learning curve (or lack there of). I'll miss your English lessons Oksana, it was fun to follow along in the audio lessons, you have some very good students and it's obvious that you are a great teacher. Maybe you could teach Scott some Wii Tennis while your at it? OHH! Just kidding, keep practicing man... I look forward to see you both together in the fall. Thanks for making me feel welcome over here.

Lena B.
It was great to get to know you. Welcome to the family (ie. DataWorks / Data Dynamics) and I look forward to working with you in the future. You are a very fun person to be around and I had a blast with you each time we went to the city. :) Your English is awesome and your Russian is... very fast! It was quite fun to sit back and hear you and Oksana talk in Russian at such speeds. :) The ballet was amazing, but the hot chocolate, needed a little more hot and a little less... yeah. Anyway, if you ever come back to the states, be sure to stop by Ohio and visit! Thanks for the ping pong game and all the fun times in downtown Novosibirsk!

Sergey A.
NOO ZAA SERGEY!! Dude, nobody knows what this means... even your Russian compadres? I will use it for the rest of my life though. :) I had a blast with you at the sports bar. You sure know how to have a good time. :) That B52 was great especially after chasing it with a Captain Morgans! I'm anxious to take the Russian Standard Vodka back home and share it with the DD crew... Yeah you heard me DD Crew, I got some real Russian Standard Vodka headed your way, compliments of Mr. Abakumov. Sergey, hurry back to the states if I don't hurry back to Russia and thanks for the fun night with all that (hicc..) alcohol. :)

You are a "@#!$#@* FUN" dude! I had a great time with you at the bar and the pool hall. I'll always have this 10 ruble buck with all the signatures on it. Thanks for believing in me on the billiard table, for I'm sure it had something to do with my success. It was either that or the 27 beers you guys fed me. :) Either way, I enjoyed your rather drunken English and all your "bala-bol-ness". :) ANDREY TOLD ME TO WRITE IT!!!! Thanks for showing me a good time!... "Friend" :)

Andrey T.
I will never have a problem saying your name again. I think I said your name a total of 124 times and each time I know I had it right. :) It was great to get to know you. You have great English skills and I love the fact that you are so serious and knowledgeable about the products that you support. You're a great guy to have on our team! The ride from the bar to the billiard hall was a lot of fun because we got to pick on... you know who (the last guy I just wrote about). Hope that we can see each other again. You're a fun guy to hang out with... Adrrrey... Tsetsoho... :) That's an even 125.

Sergey R.
Again, nothing but good times with you too. It was great to put a face with a name. I was amazed at how much Heineken you ordered before we even got started on our first bottle; I knew right away that I was in for a long night. It was great to play you in a game of billiards and I also thought that it was very generous that you let me win also. :) Seeing you at the trade center that day was pretty cool too... That's the first time I'd seen anybody out in public "by chance" here in Novosibirsk. I felt like I was a local for a split second. The next time I drink Heineken, I'll consider ordering 3 more just for backup. It works rather well; no waiting. :)

Eugene & Sophia
You two are "tough" together. I enjoyed hanging out with you both in the bar that night. It was nice that everyone spoke English on my behalf. Eugene, even though you didn't say much at first, I knew you were just waiting for the right time to crack. Finally at the billiard hall, you did and I got to talk to you a bit before the night ended. You're a very fun guy to hang out with. Sophia, it was very nice to talk to you as well, you have very good English skills and I was pleasantly surprised when I first met you and you jammed out some English like it's your native language. Sorry for blinding you guys in this picture, but it made for a great photo of you two. :)

Sergey P.
It is because of you and only because of you that I had internet at the office. My super encrypted password will never be hacked and I'm sure you'll never be able to remember it when I go. :) In my next band I'm going to rewrite "Pinball Wizard" to "Pingpong Wizard" and dedicate it to you. I've never been so afraid of a tiny ball in my life. I wish I had known you better when you visited the states; all the guys said you were a lot of fun and I see that now. :)

Anna M.
Thank you for a great time at the Nee-Kooda bar that night. I still have your autographed drawing of a "chiburashka" in my planner, so it goes everywhere I go. I plan to pin it on my tac-board at work when I decide to go back. It was so fun for me to walk around the office and guess where I was going to see you and Anna A. hanging out together. "The Anna's". Take care of your family and tell your husband that I said thank you for letting you hang out with me, it made for a memorable night! Lastly, don't get so mad at yourself for not knowing English. :) I don't know Russian, but it's amazing, what hand gestures and sound effects can do. :D

Sergey T.
"Que pasa eh casa" or whatever the hell Scott says to you. You got some crazy Wii Tennis skills my man; I'm glad I was only ever to play against you one time. Your serve is all kinds of nasty. :) It was nice seeing you each day, cause you were always smiling. Maybe you were putting Vodka in that coffee cup, I don't know, but it was nice to see. Your Mexican plate comment was hilarious. I think it was even more funny when the joke was turned around on me... Neighbor. ;)

It was nice to meet you. I don't know how you work in that break room with Scott. It's like a coffee shop; people in, people out, doorbell!! Anyway, more power to ya. I can't wait to see you play Wii Tennis. From all the times that I've been in there playing and you just sit there and watch all the secret moves. Of course, there are some other "regulars" that you probably see more than me. When it's your chance, you're gonna be the DataWorks man to beat!

Alex M.
I didn't really get to know you until the last few days, but realized very quickly that your a lot of fun to hang out with. Scott says you can run like the wind... but that's probably because Scott is slow as molasses. Either way, it would have been nice to have known you better earlier. Be sure to share the O Sweet Static bonus tracks with everybody, or don't. You could maybe sell them online for some big bucks, then pay me royalties... just send the check in the mail, that'll be fine. Thanks for turning me onto that iPod utility; I'll be downloading that for sure! Wow, that banya was HOT! You had a pretty cool move jumping into the barrel though; BONZAI!! Keep in touch and be sure to practice those paradiddles. :)

It was nice to meet you after months and months of emails. You're a very nice guy and I wish we would have had a chance to hang out while I was over here, outside of the office of course. The only times we did meet, we were talking business. See you in cyberspace my friend!

Roman S.
I know he doesn't work here anymore, but I thought about him while I was over here. He was at our company Christmas party two years ago and kicked my butt in arm wrestling. Just wait 'til I see him again. Roman, if you are reading this... "Here's a toast to you!!" :)

To the rest of the DataWorks crew:
I'm sure I crossed paths with you at the office during my visit here, but unfortunately I never got to really meet you or spend time with you. Maybe next time. :)

To my 4 girls:


Mr. Abakumoff said...

The "Noo Zaa mystery" :

Roman Shapiro said...

Hello, Luc!
I have read that and yes, the arm-restling score is 1:0 in my favour still. But you can always find me and take the revenge. ;)
Actually I was really shocked that I didn't knew about your visit to Novosibirsk, because if I had been known we could meet in Moscow(if you flew through it).
If anyone from DD visits Moscow, please, let me know!


Unknown said...

Здравствуйте, Luc =)

It`s the best report i see about my homeplace! And it's really curios to get another point about
casual things ( your favorite omlet in Gorodok. I prever the one in East and West Cafe =))

What about another trip in Novosibirsk at summer? Botanical Garden is wonderful at this time.

Sofya aka Sonya aka EugeneB`s wife