Sunday, April 15, 2012

This isn't a still from Let the Right One In, it's where I live

Now that I've relocated from Prague to Moscow, my blog has been renamed from "Blague" to "Gulog," pun credit to my sister Katy.

I've been in Russia for a month and a half now, and spring is finally beginning to arrive, by which I mean most of the snow and ice has melted this week and it's in the 40s.  Over the last month while you folks in the US, according to my imagination, have been having barbecues and living in a Pacsun ad, I've been here:

 Here's you:

Here's me:                                                                               

Here's you:

Here's me:                                                                               

Here's you:

Here's me:                                                                               

But yesterday it was sunny and I went to a nearby shithole town called Korolev to see a play in English, The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter, not the least confusing drama ever written.  The play was put on at another Language Link school and featured a mostly Russian cast, which was an interesting and admirable undertaking.  I really enjoyed going; it can't be easy to act in a language that you're still learning, so I was impressed.  I haven't gone to see a play in a long time so it was really nice to have that experience again, and I'm sure that the purpose and meaning of its inscrutable plot and dialogue will eventually reveal themselves to me, if I think long and hard enough.

I have some holidays coming up and I've purchased a ticket to Kiev, one-way because I'm not sure what to do and if I should travel around the Ukraine a bit or just come back to Moscow and try to see the city a little more.  I haven't bothered to do much sight-seeing; it's been so oppressively Soviet outside and it's such an effort to get anywhere.  In Prague I could walk around for an hour and see a castle, a museum, a church and a synagogue and head home with a camera full of pictures and a feeling of accomplishment, but now it takes an hour and a half just to get into the center, and everything is so
 spread out once I get there I can really only be bothered to do one thing.

I'm really bad at making decisions, so if you have any advice for me about my holiday I'll probably just do it and thank you.

Mytishi, the town where I live and work, is a suburb of Moscow, a 30-minute bus or train ride from a metro station.  On the plus side, my digs are a lot nicer than they would be if I lived in the center, but on the downside, everything else.  There's not much to do at night here, and not a whole lot to see.  I walked through a park last weekend, and was surprised to find an open but almost deserted amusement park, with a ferris wheel, haunted house, the works.  There was one child having an absolute ball in the teacup ride by herself, but other than that, it was kind of creepy.

Being here for the election last month was strange; there were protests, but they fizzled out pretty quickly, and most of the students I talked to agreed that Putin is corrupt but were pretty fatalistic about their government and generally willing to accept that he was always going to win and it didn't really make a difference anyhow.

Speaking of political activism, if you live in NC, have you voted yet?  I found out from the US embassy website that in order to vote on an absentee ballot I would have had to submit paperwork about 90 days before the election, while I was still in Prague.  I was super disappointed to find that out.  So, don't be like me, and do your duty (LOL duty);  PLEASE go vote against Amendment One.  

One last thing:  Last month, I turned 26.  Did you know?
-George Harrison was only 26 when the Beatles BROKE UP
-Albert Einstein was 26 when he published his ground-breaking Annus Mirabilis papers.
-Charles Lindbergh was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor at the age of 26 for his successful nonstop flight from New York to Paris the previous year

No pressure or anything but I pretty much have about 11 months to achieve fame and fortune.

Here's a picture of what it Mytishi looks like from my kitchen window when the weather isn't a scene from Fargo:

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