March 16, 2012
This week and next week are my host parent’s birthdays. My host mum is so easy to buy for or knit presents for…but my host dad? Socks? Underwear? Coffee? Why are men so hard to buy gifts for? Thank goodness I had my host sis Lera to help me out! We went to the local makeup/shower products store(sort of like a drugstore with no drugs…) and found some cologne. You can’t even to begin to know how precious my host dad is. He’s so sweet and hardly ever talks, but I got a “I love the cologne and thanks for the present!” out of him. It definitely made my day!
Moving back to last weekend(silly school and the large amounts of homework I have!), I finally went ice skating with Lera. Let’s just say, it was an epic fail on my part. Epic fail. Basically small children were skating circles around me while I stood and wondered how the heck to even move forward. Perhaps better luck next time? Or maybe I’m not meant to be balanced…later that day, we made delish tacos, queso, and guacamole(see a trend here?). I’m trying to make Tex-Mex a thing here in Russia…so far I’ve only managed to convert Lera. My host dad was less than impressed with queso and chips. Hmmm more for me!
After a wicked long week this week( we had a holiday Friday, so instead of actually getting a day off…Friday was on Sunday. Yes, I had Sunday classes), today was a fantastic day full of food, knitting, and books! After a 3 hour private Russian class(oh, yes, just me stumbling along in Russian for 3 hours. I’m sure it was quite painful for my Russian professor) I was FREE. I met up with Lera and we ran home and changed for my host parent’s birthday dinner. A metro ride and a marshrutka later, we were at a Chinese restaurant. Can you say AMAZING? The food was probably some of the most interesting I’ve had, but amazing none the less. It was set up as sort of a buffet with about 10 entrees and almost as many toppings( like bean curd, mushrooms, cucumbers etc). I tried cashew chicken, pineapple chicken, chicken hearts( purely by accident and sadly gross organy texture), cucumbers with glass noodles, noodles with mushrooms, Peking duck(AMAZING!!!!), green tea with honey, fry bread, and FROG LEGS(sort of like fishy chicken or tilapia). There were a few assorted things I tried to stay away from like seafood, but for the most part I tried everything. We started at 3pm and didn’t finish until 5:30. It was an amazing afternoon with champagne for birthday toasts and really sweet people.
After the dinner and toasting was completed( one should never underestimate the amount of toasting that will happen…I stayed with sips of champagne, but I definitely watched glasses of vodka being downed for every toast!) I went to meet up with Katie at a Coffee House. We had a great time drinking tea( free since I knew a girl that worked there!) and eating dessert. Finally, we went to Дом Книги (a giant bookstore) and I picked up The Moonstone and Arabian Nights (in English of course) for about $8.
Definitely a great start to my weekend!