Saturday, February 2, 2013

Eventually we went to the Artillery Museum

We tried to go when Peter was still here, but it was closed for the holiday, New Years Eve, then Christmas. I haven't really wondered what it would be like to be at an Artillery museum. I didn't realize that I could take pictures of the things inside of the museum. 

This was the outside of the museum. Where you can see the different types of tanks. Though the tanks are velvet roped off. So that's odd. 

So after you walk through the entrance you find yourself walking through the metal detector. Why do you need a metal detector on entrance to an artillery museum is ironic? Weird. or whatever. I would never think that this would be such a problem as you walk through a museum that has all sorts of ways to kill people. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Peter finally left 1/16

Leaving Loki and I by ourselves, with his grandparents Larisa and Sergey. Some things that have come up in conversation with friends on facebook: How do we communicate, the answer is through google translate. I have quickly learned phrases or words like: davay давай (let's go), садиться sidit,saya (sit down), metro, and есть yest (to it). Of course, да dah, (yes) нет nyet (no) and my favorite and said multiple times хорошо harasho (ok, sure, fine, well, and possible whatever). It only becomes incredibly frustrating when I leave Loki alone with his grandparents. They only speak Russian and occasionally will speak to him in English. Larisa has picked up the phrase, "Put your pants on" in english. That's incredibly helpful because if he had his way Loki would wander around naked constantly.
So eventually I just broke drown and bought him boy tights. Boy tights! Because wearing a complete outfit under his snow suit is a bit much. This is a common, common thing over here. I have mentioned and seen other boys from various ages wearing these. Of course older boys don't wear these, but younger ones do. The first time I saw them was at the Ikea.
What do we do most days. Usually we wake up later in the morning around 9 AM or 8 AM and Loki plays with his trains. Most the time we then leave the house, and go to museums, shopping centers, or children's activities.
We have taken Loki to a small petting type museum, the artillery museum, and a video arcade. In the evenings we go to the fall out shelter, to go sledding, or to the park to play on the equipment. (See post: we left the house and this happened.)

This is the petting museum that we went to. It could be part of a larger children's museum but it was underneath a tattoo parlor. Larisa, Loki and I went there and looked around and followed a tour guide (lady with short brown hair) that took us around and introduced us to the animals and exhibits in the museum. 
Brown haired lady spoke a large amount of English considering the interactions of English I have had only with the people in McDonald's. 

I think more than anything I absolutely miss talking in English more than anything. I miss having conversations with adults, I try and talk to my son and that doesn't go so well. Larisa and I use google translate to talk to each other. But there is only so much that can be said. On the other hand, trying to talk to Sergey is the most difficult. He has lots of questions about Loki and about Peter. I also use google translate to converse with him. I don't really like answering their questions about Peter because well I don't care. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Here are some of my favorite things so far that I have seen. (So far)

I don't get to walk around by myself very often. Larisa will let me go by myself and watch Loki, this has happened since Peter has left (Peter left 1/16). I like to go to the book palace, and I also like a new one I went to I am going to call it Book Boulevard. These are from Book Palace, which is also called Zinger Cafe  or the Zinger building. (Singer, the company that makes/made sewing machines.) In order to get to "down town Saint Petersburg"/Nevsky Prospect, I walk 4 blocks to the subway/Metro, board the green train, take it three stops and then get off and submerge into "daylight". 
These are multi-card wallets, multi-envelopes - large pockets - and zippered pouches. Here's something I don't understand though, they have a triple card holder. Who needs a hundred slots for cards. Do you carry that with you every where. As you know, I want one of these. 

Fifty Shades of Grey, that crap of writing that everyone blabs about in the states, has graced the shores of Russia. Yes it has a +18 sign on it to signify that it's not for everyone. I think what cracks me up the most about this "book" is that there are lots of people out there on the internet writing Fan Fic, or Fiction or blogging, (not me!) who are really far better writers or have an interesting story to tell and  they aren't getting the attention that this crappy, unimaginative, and totally inappropriate book is getting. Have I read it, no. Am I judging other people's comments, yes. I have read other fiction, and I have read Anais Nin, so I am not special but I would direct people who "liked" this book to really examine why they liked it. 
OMG Mexican Pizza at Pizza Hut!? How about yes, the Pizza hut is actually a fancy sit down restaurant in comparison to most American Pizza Hut's. With pasta dishes, salads, mixed drinks. It's an interesting concept. I would describe what I have seen on the menu as a Olive Garden with Pizza. 

Hey there, do you like Tattoos? Do you like giant posters featuring nude men covered in tattoos on a large window? Have I got the place for you! This is a huge image of a naked man barely covering the "family jewels". 

Now this is the family petting zoo for children and families to go to and enjoy family time. Notice Sergey and Larisa's mannerisms. They are gesturing to the fact that it's open certain hours. And I am being the crazy American banging on the door and hollering. That's me! 'Merica! 

Oh you thought the nude male image was too much, then why not have creepy butt lady with "tattoos" covering her body above the happy children's museum. I can't tell you how many times I see inapropriate images next to wholesome family locations. 
Yesterday we were at a large mall, and I saw a restaurant named El Patio. With a name like El Patio I would think, Mexican Food, Italian Food, Mediterranean food. Actually it was a sushi restaurant. I can't tell you how many Sushi restaurants I pass daily. Clearly in Hubbard we don't have that many Sushi restaurants. 
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Monday, January 28, 2013

I think I should just start naming posts: "So we left the house/apartment and this happened..."

Have I mentioned that we have very limited amounts of Daylight here?! 
By the time it's 4-ish the sun is setting and it's dusky already. Moving towards darkness. Other children are usually out during this time so it's not like we are odd for bringing a small child. It's not incredibly cold in the picture, it's just averagely cold. There isn't a point where you go wow I think this is too cold for a child to be outside. 

In fact if anything Loki is over dressed. He usually has an outfit on (pants, shirt, socks, mittens, hat, scarf), most children have a shirt or two on and leggings. Boys wear leggings, girl wear leggings. When they go to places like Ikea, or anything indoors the kids run around in leggings and their shirts. It's kind of creepy to see kids wearing leggings and shirts. Occasionally you get kids with a complete outfit on, when you get to a place. Other times you get leggings. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

So the last think I talked about was the Russian Circus

But that wasn't the last activity we did. After we went to the circus, this was before New Years eve, we walked around during New Years eve celebrations, then we left for Alexander's apartment in Velikiye Luki. We spent about three days with Alexander, and then another day with Larisa maternal Aunt and Uncle by the Ukrainian border. It was a 7-9 hour car ride to Velikiye Luki, then another 3 hours to Aunt Clara's residence. She lives with her husband and various farm animals near the Latvian border in a town you probably couldn't find on a map. They are in their 80's (?) and tend to goat(s) chickens and two dogs. One is an indoor dog, and the other is an outdoor dog. 
This is the photo of Aunt Clara's residence. To the right is a smaller Dacha that they lived in for years, they only moved into the larger house in the late 90's. A couple of other interesting surprises, there was no indoor plumbing! There was some water piped into the house, but a toilet wasn't there. They used a wood-burning stove (?). It was encased into the wall. So it was a bit of a "central" heating unit. It kept the whole house nice and toasty. 
 The car in the picture is the Hyundai Accent/Solaris that we had the pleasure of riding in for the whole entire trip. Three adults, and one child. It wasn't the most unpleasant car I have been in, but it wasn't a Subaru wagon. Half way through the trip, the windshield wiper fluid dispenser eventually stopped working/got clogged. Instead of using the right kind of fluid, someone decided to just add water to the dispenser/tank whatever. You would think this was a bad idea, but who am I to judge. Did I mention how scary the road is to Velikiye Luki ? It's a two lane high way that is sometimes cleared very well, and sometimes isn't and has giant pot holes everywhere and dangerous conditons. 
Then this happened! Eventually before Peter left we went to go visit some friends of the family. Yes, that's a Twilight/New Moon/I don't know which one because I don't follow the series. Behind us is the most popular Russian TV movie, The Hound of Baskervilles from 1971. It's a very popular film and has a wonderful soundtrack. We didn't watch it, but I am sure it's very interesting to see lovesick teenagers blabbing in Russian about being lovesick teenagers. After spending time with the family, we then went to eat at KFC (good luck finding a Taco Bell, that doesn't exist out here. No matter how bad you want it.) By the way I was super excited about going to KFC, I mean you know it's a taste of home. It wasn't a taste of home because some dummy thought it would be better to have french fries instead of mashed potatoes and gravy. Yes it's KFC, and yes it's not healthy but it's mashed potatoes and gravy. They made a several layer mashed potato bowl of awesome from it or sadness. It was sadness.