Saturday, January 31, 2015

I guess, in Russia, Starbucks is a hub for pregnant women, new mothers, mothers with toddlers. Basically if you're looking for women and children under the age of four, Starbucks is THE place to go. This is probably the tenth time I've come here and EVERY time its literally crawling with stray children. It's so amusing. A small girl has been standing by my table for about five minutes staring me down. I'm starting to feel uncomfortable. Small girl is eating a cookie and it looks very delicious. Incognito advertising perhaps?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The bathrooms here in the dorms are always a wild card. Out of 10 toilets, I refuse to use all but 3. Out of 8 showers I refuse to use all but  2, theres a third one I'll use but only if I NEED a shower. The reason is that they are usually filthy.

And the sinks are usually fine, but to get rid of uneaten food, girls dump it directly into the sinks. If I wanted to wash my face in a bowl of noodles, I'd do so myself. I don't want it at 6am while I'm trying to get ready for ballet.

But anyways, earlier last week there was a note posted on the shower room door. It explained how the showers were closed for repair. About 80 tired, sweaty girls aged 14 to about 19, wouldn't be able to shower. As you can imagine there was some uproar. So the house mothers gave over the key to the younger girls shower room so that we could all at least take a brief shower. These showers are used by girls about age 9 to 14. They have cute pink shower curtains. And shower heads that work.
 Oh, and has anyone seen the movie Elf? We felt like Buddy the elf, super tall people, in facilities made for kids. Fun times.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Here's a fun little tidbit for you all:

My American accent is apparently VERY thick.

My friend from Sweden recently told me that I sound like the American actresses on TV. And my Russian Language teacher always makes fun of me for having such a horrible Russian accent. Often I ask my friends from places like Switzerland, Italy, Sweden and Japan how to say random words in their native language (such as alien, sleep, hairspray, candy and walrus).

I always receive the same response, laughter because I sound utterly ridiculous speaking any language other than my own.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

In Russia every student is issued a navy colored, folding identification card. They're called (phonetically spelled) studiyenski cards and we can use them to get student discounts in places like bookstores and select coffee shops.

However, there's a certain perk to to cards that we dancers especially appreciate. On days that The Bolshoi Theatre has performances students can line up outside the ticket office and hope for extra tickets at an extremely reduced price of only 100 rubles (that's only $1.50 in U.S. dollars. In comparison, I saw the Bolshoi in NYC this summer and it cost $25 for a student rush ticket for our $155 seats!)

So my roommates and I lined up at 4pm at the end of an already very long line. Turns out we showed just a hair too late. With only about ten people in front of us, the ticket office closed with no more student tickets to sell. We were slightly disappointed but we knew that we were cutting it close with the time and had only ourselves to blame.

Standing outside of the Bolshoi Theatre.  The wind chill was about 2 degrees!

However on the bright side, The Bolshoi Theatre is located in a very beautiful part of Moscow. It's close to Red Square and many American stores like Zara and Tommy Hilfiger. Full of statues, intricate buildings and sparkling light displays still up from the New Year festivities, it's easily my favorite part of Moscow. While we were out walking I spotted a Hyatt Hotel and I thought to myself, "Someday when I have a family of my own I'm going to bring them here and we will stay in that very hotel."
Anyways, to reward ourselves for the long commute from the dorms, we walked around until we stumbled upon an Italian restaurant. I had an amazing pasta dish with a cream sauce and for dessert I had these doughy pastries with candied fruit and chocolate inside. All in all, not a bad way to spend your Saturday afternoon/evening.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

One day this week, we were served this tasty soup. 
In fact, we are served this soup regularly.
Cabbage, pickles and something like spam in a more than slightly oily broth. 
I ate the bread that was served on the side.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Well, I'm back in Moscow! And while last time was only for about seven weeks, I'll be here for the better part of six months. My suitcases (4 in total, oops) were full of about 70lb of food. Things like banana chips, flavored drink mixes, dried pastas and broths, and of course if you know me well enough you know I had about 30 bags of sour patch kids with me!

It's weird to think that I'll be here for so long. I have to stop and remind myself that literally I'm not coming home until I'm done. Something like FaceTiming a friend, or hearing what my family ate for dinner is unsettling. I won't hug my friends and family, or look at American road signs for a very long time. And that just makes me so, so much more determined to use this opportunity to its greatest extent. Many thanks to everyone who's helped me along the way. There are people who have literally carried me and I'm very grateful.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Here we go!

2 girls, 10 bags, 6 months, 5885 miles

Lots of food in these suitcases.  And gum.  And Sour Patch Kids.