Moscow Day 2

March 3, 2010 at 12:39 pm (Uncategorized)

We had to wake up very early on our second day in Moscow to go on our weekly Friday excursion.  This week, we were accompanying the Moscow group to a place called Etnomir, two hours out of the city.  Why we couldn’t have gone somewhere IN Moscow since that’s why we went in the first place, I will never know.  First, there was some confusion as to where we were supposed to meet the Moscow group.  Apparently we were supposed to meet them inside the metro station, but John, the Moscow resident director, never told us that, so we had a little bit of a delay as we figured that out.  Secondly, the bus that was coming to get us got into an accident (of course) so we had to wait, in the freezing cold, for a second bus to come fetch us.  When we finally boarded the bus, I was very excited to dig into my Nutella, only to find that it was frozen solid.  Luckily, I later discovered that Emily had a swiss army knife, which could cut up my frozen Nutella like butter.  I felt super Russian using a giant knife to eat food.

Anyway we finally got to the middle of nowhere, where Etnomir was and found out it was an outdoor museum.  They had set up a bunch of old Russian, Siberian, Ukrainian, Belarus, and…American (?) villages.  I assume the village with tippees was American, but you never can tell with Russia.  We went inside the Russian houses and found out people lived in Old Russia.  We saw Russian dolls and toys.  I thought that it was very interesting.  A second guide took us inside the Mongolian and Siberian huts.  A stray cat also followed us around on the excursion, which was rather funny because it meowed loudly when it couldn’t get into the buildings after us.  John really loved the cat and took at least fifty pictures of it.  The Siberian village also had Siberian huskies, so we got to look at those, and one of the Moscow girls paid to be dragged around on a sled ride.  We were finished with the excursion by noon, but of course John  decided that we should wait around and do nothing for three hours, to ensure that we would get stuck in heavy duty Moscow traffic on the way back.  Which, naturally, we did.  What an idiot.

On the bus, several members of the Moscow group decided to complain to the Vladimir group about how disgusting the bathrooms in the Moscow dorms are.  The people in Vladimir did not want to hear it.  We promptly told them that their bathrooms all had toilet paper, toilet SEATS, locks on the doors, and people didn’t flush fish down the toilets.  These are luxuries that we do not have in Vladimir.

After we finally got back from the four hour bus ride (which COULD have only been two hours had we left stupid Etnomir at a decent hour), Emily, Erin, Courtney, and I decided to go to a vegetarian restaurant.  I didn’t really want to go because I very much enjoy meat, but I went along anyway.  Luckily for me, the restaurant ended up being Russian vegetarian, which means that there was meat.  In fact, in Russia, vegetarian simply means that they provide one or two vegetarian options as opposed to none.  I ate pigs in a blanket, which were delicious.  I also bought what I assumed was a waffle, only to find out that it had vegetables in it.  Of course, the one thing Russians actually put vegetables in was something I wanted to be waffles.  Thank you Russia.

When we got back to the dorm, my roommate wasn’t in the room.  There is only one key to the room, and when we leave the dorm we are supposed to give it back to the front desk.  Kelly had explained this to me the day before, and I told my roommate that, but for whatever reason, my roommate was like “No.  I need to explain it to you.”  Anyway, I wanted to go hang out with my group in Erin’s room, so I thought that leaving a note on my door, telling my roommate “I am in room 731 with the key” would be appropriate.  Apparently this was too difficult for her.  She came to room 731 and said “Um, you definitely need to take the key back to the lobby next time because I, like, couldn’t find you.”  I really don’t know what could possibly have been easier than seeing a note on the door and walking across the hallway, but she didn’t like me anyways because I was in her room.  That night she was as loud as she could possibly be.  She kept her phone on loud even while texting at three a.m. without caring that it was bothering me, and when she decided to randomly wake up at 7 a.m. she stomped around as loud as she could.  She also announced to me that she didn’t plan on going to St. Petersburg because “why spend the money if you don’t have to?”  Maybe because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

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