Wednesday, April 16, 2008 that, like, a country or something?

this is just a teaser. for the full lot of photographs from my weekend in Tallinn, go HERE.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

we found an apartment

yes, that's right. we've found our own place. we'll be moving out of the hostel next month and into our own apartment. its a studio-style apartment, with it's own kitchen and bathroom. it's 2 metro stations away from here - Pionerskaya Metro Station. we've singed the pre-liminary lease agreement and paid a partial down-payment to hold the apartment for us. we'll sign the final lease agreement at the end of this month and move in the on the 1st of May. Please pray for us, because this is a big change financially, from living at the hostel. but it will be good for us, since now we won't have to live on edge, according to the moods wings of the hostel commandant. and i won't have to cosnstantly convince that one lady who works at the desk downstairs that, "YES! I DO LIVE HERE! YOU'VE SEEN ME A MILLION TIMES...AND STOP YELLING AT ME IN RUSSIAN, BECAUSE I DONT UNDERSTAND YOU. SAYING IT LOUDER DOESNT HELP!" so, yeah keep us in your prayers. thanks!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

is there a Russian word for...OOPS!!

Today on the metro i knocked the hat off an old man's head. It's not as malicious as it sounds, I promise. First, let me explain that it was rush hour and the metro was packed. So there I was, trying to make the most of the precious few inches of personal space I had. I had left my seat and quickly made my way close to the door as the rush of passengers was getting out at a station, before the next batch of people rushed in, so I could be close to the door for my escape two stations away. When you take a seat in the metro, it is understood that you place your bag on your lap, so as to take up less space. So, now that i was standing i was quickly trying to put my backpack back on my back so that when i exited i would be less likely to disrupt a lot of people on my way out. i had one arm through the strap and was sliding my arm through the second strap as new passengers rushed in to the train. i only had inches to begin with, so i tried to conserve space by using the empty space above the heads of the passengers seated near the door. unfortunately, in my state of being jostled around, the arm didn't exactly clear the head of the man nearest me, and my hand clipped the brim of his hat and knocked it backward right off his head. he shot me an incredulous look as i sputtered my apologies and gave him my best "please-don't-kill-me" look. "isvaneet" means "excuse me/sorry" in Russian. except that the panic that was flooding my brain at that moment scrambled my English-Russian translation abilities and it kind of came out more like, "sorrispaseet" which was a mix of "sorry" in English, "thank you" in Russian and "isvaneet". Thankfully, the man simply replaced his hat and went back to ingoring me. the next 6 minutes lasted a lifetime as i tried desperately not to even breathe on the man until i reached my stop. i was never so happy to hear, "Petrogradskaya", announced as we reached the station.

Friday, April 04, 2008

the Torch

The olympic torch arrived in St. Petersburg today.

and I found an english-language bookshop!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

is this still messed up?

hello? yay! i can write in English again! =)

randomness. because i've been falling behind on my posts...

ok, this will be a very random post. full of tidbits and odds n' ends of thoughts i've had of things to share with you.

a few weeks ago our fellowship group went to visit the Wycliffe Bible Translators center in St. Petersburg. A friend of ours who attends our fellowship (Tom, from the USA) works for Wycliffe, and had invited us to come to the center and see what they do. we had a great time of worship together with them, shared tea, coffee and some snacks, and then we watched a presentation about Wycliffe's history and the work they do, and more specifically about Russia and the work they do here. Here are some pics from the night:

i didn't get a picture of it but, as with just about every home in Russia, the Wycliffe center has a small mudroom area at the entrance, complete with a rack for shoes and house slippers for everyone to wear inside.

* I start teaching a new pre-intermediate class tonight.

* I am planning a trip to Tallinn, Estonia next weekend since i have to leave Russia for a few days so i can renew my registration on this visa.

* I think one of my students summed up the entirety of Russian-thinking in one statement a few weeks ago. It was my class at Lenta (grocery store) I was talking with my business-people students about customer service and why its important in business. I asked how it would effect a business if the customers aren't happy with their store, and the answer I got was this, "if they don't like it, they can just go somewhere else." Bingo. i think this pretty much sums up life here. (and believe me, once we 2011...we will!)

* We've switched to daylight saving time now. and its eery, because now its still light out after 8pm. and its only going to get longer and longer, until the "White Nights" in June where the sun never really sets at all. Quite a contrast to the phenomenon of only getting 5 hours of daylight in the winter.

* Also, we've had unusually great weather this week. on Tuesday is was +9 C. which is 48.2 F!! and it's been hovering around there for the past 3 days. add that to the fact that it's been DRY and MOSTLY CLEAR...this equals GREAT WEATHER in St. Petersburg!

Ok, somehow I hit some keys on my keyboard, and I can only type in Blogger in Cyrillic now! When I type anything it looks like this:

црфн фьв Ш щтдн фиду ещ ензу шт Скнддшсю Ершы шы куфддн акгыекфештп!

and actually the keys are not even corresponding to the correct letters in the Cyrillic alphabet, for Russian at least, so I’m not sure what the deal is. Thank God it’s only doing this on my Blogger and its not affecting the whole computer, like Word and stuff. So I’m typing this in Word and cutting and pasting. So for now I will post this and hopefully I can get the whole language things squared away soon! Cheers.