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Nearly a month in Russia!

Posted by jamie on the 19 September 2012

Hello Again!
Thank you all for reading my last blog, I got some great feedback via texts, e-mails, Facebook messages and tweets about it! It has definitely given me the blogging bug.

Since my last blog, I have ventured from my "Presnenskiy" neighbourhood into random parts of Moscow a few times now. Last Thursday I finally saw the famous onion domed St Basil's Cathedral and Red Square - the iconic image that anyone instantly recognises as 'Russia'. It was spectacular, I can't think of any other word, any picture you see doesn't give it justice. After navigating my way through the maze of the Moscow Metro, being the victim of the odd shove and push from the fellow passengers I got to my stop, up the escalator, passed the sixty (slight exaggeration) police/army guards, pushed open the door and there it was!

I've now been to Red Square a few times, walking around the area to check out all the coffee shops, shopping centers and breathtaking buildings steeped in history - all be it I can't read any of the signs haha! Last weekend did the infamous tourist thing - 'a hop on, hop off bus tour' and it worked out to cost only 6 (very cheap compared to everything else in Moscow).  I know my friend Phillipa will be happy I did that. What I like about these tours, as it gives you a quick introduction to all the sites and history in a hour or so, this one was apparently takes 1 hour but because of the Moscow traffic I spent more time looking at the fancy Hummers, BMWs and occasional 1980's Lada that drove past blaring Russian pop music. One thing that still surprises me here is when you want to buy anything from metro tickets, milk or bread is the length of the que you need to wait in. Forget running to the shops for a quick bottle of juice and loaf.

School wise, there has been ups and downs; after lots of guessing and hoping for the best, I finally got my timetable so at least now I know where I'm supposed to be and where my two grades are supposed to be. Believe me, it was a hard task trying to deceiver a list of your classes in Russian. This week I'm coming to the end of doing Ancient Egypt so decided to get all the 5th Graders (Primary 7 in Scotland) to wrap themselves in toilet paper and dress like Mummies! It was great fun and the school got the camera out for some pictures - so hopefully I will get some on to Facebook. The clearing up wasn't as fun - especially when the bin bag bursts all over the place. (Trash bag in American - sometimes, I'm speaking a mix of American English, British English and Russian it's the only way you can get things done).

I've been helping the Russian-English Teachers run the 5th Grade drama class, they are going to be performing 'The cat that walked by himself" by Rudyard Kipling, its about how humans became the animals best friends. I would of preferred Matilda or something a bit more fun but 'The cat that walked by himself" is actually really popular here. Its funny I didn't think my 5th Grade could speak that much English until they started saying their lines.

As part of my plan to chill out after my dissertation, I saw a HUGE Russian Dolls exhibition at Moscow's version of Canary Wharf, it was such a great thing to visit and see the vast scale of each of the dolls. Below is a map of where I saw the dolls...

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It is amazing knowing you don't have an essay or uni work to be done but at the same time it's left a bit of a gap in my life. Next on the agenda is visiting the Kremlin! I can't wait to go through it's famous red brick walls and see what's behind. During soviet times apparently it was reserved only for the elite of the communist party to enter. Now its bursting with tourists, stalls selling Putin Russian dolls and Coca-Cola.

Da-svi-da-niya (Goodbye)
Over and out!

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