So I had a blog post I wrote during my layover in England, but there is way too much to talk about for the “okla” 48 hours I’ve spent in Russia. Someone just told me “okla” is the word for “around.” I’ve been in Russia for around 48 hours, and I don’t even know where to begin…this may be a bit all over the place.
So you see how I wrote the date above, that’s how the date is supposed to be written in Russia. Rubles are pretty easy to keep track of, and the cost of living is really inexpensive in Russia. It looks like an average lunch costs the equivalent of ~$3 per day, which is just under 200P (rubles). The Russian equivalent of Walmart is called OK, and they have most things you would need or want in America. You can’t buy peanut butter there…you have to go to the special import store in the middle of central St. Petersburg & pay a premium. I haven’t made it to this store yet, but I will soon. Speaking of which, the metro is clean and efficient. It is extremely inexpensive (~20P or ~a 1/3 of a US cent). You can’t take pictures while you’re in there and you can’t congregate in large groups, or the police will come. Helpful hint, drivers in Russia speed up to hit pedestrians, so make sure you see the green man on the sign before you start walking.
They do have a supplements store where you can buy whey protein, which I’m going to hit up tomorrow. I also joined to local “fitnus centor,” with some difficulty (more about this in a bit). The phrase “Ya Ni Gavaru Ruski” means “I don’t speak Russian.” “Eta Pravada,” means “this is the truth.” Well, this is the truth. I came to Russia speaking no Russian, not being able to read, and not being able to write. Hopefully I don’t sound too naive or over-confident, but I don’t feel nervous about this at all even though this is my new home for the next year. Let me explain to you what I’ve gathered so far.
Today I had about two Russian hours of language class (a Russian hour is 45 minutes). In that time, my Professor, Ingra, explained a few things. So the classic print Russian letters you see on signs, you don’t write with. You write in a different cursive form, which is how you first learn the language pronunciations. Then once this happens, you can start to read the print letters with these same pronunciations. By that time, you will start to be able to speak the language. Hopefully that made sense… :/
“Tak” (so) back to Fitnus Centor. I walked in to get a 3 month membership, 4450P (about 70 dollars). I asked the lady if she spoke English “Engliski,” because “Ya Ni Gavaru Ruski.” After ~20mins & my friend Tay speaking to her in Russian, I finally got everything sorted out. This is quite eye opening to say the least, now I know how people who don’t speak English in America feel! On a side note because I just remebered this, on our way to the dorms after first arriving in Russia, we saw some dude in a brand new Escalade driving on the grass along side the railroad tracks xD.
You have to keep a straight face most of the time here because Russian people don’t smile. It’s not because they’re all necessarily angry all the time, but they just don’t feel the need to show emotion. The train of thought is that when they see someone smiling as they walk around the street, they have something wrong with them mentally. Also, Americans abroad, putting things into perspective I guess we are all loud af, and a bit inconsiderate at times.
What else…tak…so all the students in the same study abroad program are really nice and a bit nerdy similar to myself (I mean what did you expect of people who decided to go to Russia to study abroad, #florence2k16). I can repeat about half a dozen key Russian phrases so far, but this has just been out of the pure need to survive, like “Ge De Toliet” (you guess that one).
Tak, I’ve decided to name my blog chain of posts Re-yal Nia-rosia, “The Real Russia.” Here I am not going to post pictures of stuff you could google like the Hermitage or the Church of Our Savior on Spilt Blood. I am going to post stuff that’d you’d need to investigate yourself, Re-yal Nia-rosia!!
My rough class schedule is language classes M/W/F, and upper div. electives T/Th. It sounds pretty geeky, but I could have easily spent 2 more hours in my language class. This study abroad is totally self-motivated (we don’t have a Russian language department at UPS), and that makes learning that much more easier. Anyway, I’ve got classes tomorrow, and need to find out where the laundry room is, so for now I will just get some pictures in this post.
Spakonia Nochi (good night),
-Andre (Andrew is the equivalent of Andriy in Russian)