Saturday, January 19, 2013

It got into positive temperatures.

If you believe that 0 is positive. This is the hardest part about most days or mornings. I lived on the east coast and I could justify leaving the house in 12 or 14 degree weather. But here it's so much more difficult to wander out in -4 degree temperatures. Loki hates wearing his snow suit, I get tired of sweating through my clothes, and by the time you start walking 5 feet Loki wants someone to carry him.
Sometimes I wonder why I thought coming out here in the middle of winter, in the worst part of winter was the best idea. I don't think you can ever escape coming to winter in Russia once in your life if you have family here. I thought I would manage it better, and I do. On the other my son hasn't had the best times with travelling in the cold. But then again it's not like we are super suffering. 
This picture is from Velikiye Luki, a suspension bridge, something I fear. But I went across it, I also ran across the frozen river. So I stepped out of my comfort zone, stepped pretty far out of my comfort zone. 
But what am I going to do when I am done with Russia. Looking into work and jobs, thinking about the future. Yet I don't really like thinking about the future. 
I am trying to cover it! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Russian Museum

There was a tentative plan to go to The Hermitage. This is a huge compound with multiple areas for art/sculpture whatever. 
But because Sergey had something else going on or something, Larisa, Loki and I went to the Russian Museum of Ethnography. This was a palace, as everything here is a palace of sorts if it is a museum. I thought it would have items from Russian creation of the past. Largely it was art work, large art work. Lots of paintings, paintings older than the state of Oregon. Everything is old, is what I am saying. Everything is beautiful, from the furniture you can sit on to admire the art, to the palace that holds the art. The ceilings are high, considering everyone is short, and they are highly detailed and ornate. The lighting is gorgeous, old, wired for electricity. Everything is marble, or parquet flooring. Highly detailed and ornate, I saw something that looked like wall paper, turns out it was actually just painted onto the walls. Like a fresco but better. 
I would love to have looked more closely but, as it turns out I couldn't because it was sons nap time and he screamed and grunted through the whole entire time in the palace. 
I know kids don't normally do well in museums, but he was tired and grumpy and probably hungry. Some days getting him to eat are better than others. But this was the case also in America. 
For the return date I have been waffling on leaving on the 18th or leaving closer to the 27th of February. Our VISA expires on the 28th of February, so we have to be out of here before our VISA's expire or that causes a problem. Nobody wants to get deported out of Russia. 
So while it's only still maybe 10 degrees outside, we carry on. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Summer Dacha (Дача)

We drove outside of 

Velikiye Luki for about 20 minutes towards the Dacha. These are small houses for summer food growing. Alexander does potatoes, and he picks wild mushrooms. Mushrooms are a big thing out here. 

Larisa, Peter, Alexander Loki. 

Velikiye Luki is rural and the dacha's are set up not as summer retreats, though they are summer retreats, but as places to grow your vegetables and fruits. 

This is Larisa's parents Dacha. They are hoping to sell it for 100 dollars to the neighbors. Many are either abandoned or are being used has homes or Dachas. Ownership usually passes through families.  

Loki and Snow. 
Alexander's Dacha. He still uses his, but because of his age isn't able to produce a larger harvest. He does go out into the wild area and pick mushrooms and various wild fruits or nuts. 

This was one of the sunniest days in Russia we had experienced. But it was incredibly cold, and windy.  

The indoor outdoor market.

Not the outdoor market. But there where plenty of people on the lead up to the market itself selling, food, fruit, vegetables, fish, cigarettes.

Central downtown Vielekie Luki. 

Divide the cost of the coat by 30 and you  have the price in USD.

Pigs head/Boars head. 

Pigeons in the market every where. 

I bought two packets of seeds. I think the older man selling the seeds must have known Alexander. He hugged me, and he slipped me an extra packet. They are flowers. 

You guys have some candy! 

Yep that's a heart. 

Better buy a bag, because they sell them. 

Panties and bras! 

The classiest lady in all of Vielieki Luki. 

This is just the out door/indoor market. There are grocery stores, called Magazines. I don't know why they are called that, but I guess it makes sense to them. It was interesting to be in a small town, but it was nothing like small town rural Woodburn. More like something you would find in southern/eastern Oregon. I still haven't asked why he hugged me, Peter said it was because they are getting older.