Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cloudy with a 30% Chance of Beets

Oh hi everyone. This was our first week of classes, so we're really tired and confused and a little stressed out, but here it is. Our last blog post, we forgot to mention the great memorial we visited during Orientation in St. Petersburg. The memorial is to the Siege of Leningrad, during World War II, which, as you may know already, lasted 900 days and nights, and the effects of the siege on the population of Russia played greatly in the start of the Cold War.

900 Days

900 Nights

War Memorial, 1941-1945

On a happier note, we also took pictures of our amazing school for you to see. You think Dartmouth's campus is pretty? What if you took classes in a school painted sky blue?

We do.

Yeah, that's our school, good ol' Smolny. Come to think of it, it's a little obscene how beautiful the campus is. It's all gold-leaf and powder blue, and on the insides there are hand-molded ceilings and...well, we don't want to make anyone jealous.

We're each taking six impossible classes: razgovor (conversation), gramatica, fonetica, gazyeta (news and reading comprehension), a "Directors' Course" with the Dartmouth prof here, and musikal'naya cultura. We're divided into different groups, so the classes are fairly small; about 7 or 8 students in each one. The prepadavatselii (teachers) gibber rapidly and at length about their subjects, and are extremely hard to follow. There's one particularly high strung teacher who teaches razgovor and gramatica...she's really sweet, but sometimes she goes a little off the deep end:

Marina Yurievna: And so he supposed to her.
Class: *blank look*
MY: Supposed. Supposed!
Class: Uhh...
MY: Oh, haha, I meant proposed. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *continues to laugh hysterically for an abnormally long period of time, as the class sits in horrified silence, staring at her.*

Random street sign.

Yesterday we went to Pavlovsk, a small town that holds a Russian palace just outside the city limits of St. Petersburg. (For those of you from Miami, the palace is REALLY similar to Vizcaya/Deering Estate). When we got there, it was raining (and--please remember that Pieter is built on a swamp. And so there are MOSQUITOES. Giant, killer mosquitoes everywhere. And other assorted swamp monsters for your entertainment), and we ran through the forest surrounding Pavlovsk, a swarming mob of bugs on our trail (most of whom strangely attracted to Claire). When we got inside, we wandered around for a couple of hours.

Just, you know, the casual summer home of the tsars.

The ceiling in a bathroom.

Writing desk.

Hallway ceiling frescoes

We made a new friend.

In other news, we're fervently watching the World Cup, making our foreign-ness very painfully evident, as we sit in a bar in a group, screaming at the football players on TV to "PASS THE @#&%!ING BALL!" USA was edged out last night, and Russia didn't even make it to the second round, so we're trying to find a new team to champion...any suggestions?

For now, that's it. We're heading out to one of the city's 500 Sushi bars (We kid you not), where one can find beet borscht alongside with your dragon roll. Beets are everywhere, in case you weren't aware. From the beet-stained mouths of babes, you know.

C lyubovyu (with love!)

Eli, Claire, and Ariel

1 comment:

  1. lmfao. That's hilarious. And you say you don't like it. psh, whatever. it's better then PA. lol Havveee funnn :)