Friday, September 21, 2007


It's plus four degrees celcius. Vika, A girl I met today, told me that in december I'm going to miss the days of Plus four degress. Probably.

Today was a little better. Not school, but this afternoon. Raisa wants me to get out of the house more and I agree with her completely. I wanted to go do something. Anything, and even though most of the people on my phone list I didn't really want to hang out with. So Raisa called up another one of Sakhayana's friends, Vika. I met her and a girl named Tanya at Lenin square. We went and got drinks at a cafe and sat around talking for a while until their friend (The third) Natasha met us, for clarity's sake we call her Nataha. Anyway so we went cafe hopping. I guess that's what people do here. Although we'd do the same thing in canton with Starbucks and Steak and Shake, so it's really not all that different. After the first cafe we went to the Cafe at the Lena theater. I met a whole bunch of people who knew Vika and that group, most of whom I don't remember. We walked and talked, were joined by some guys which was nice. (I've been missing guys, not in a BOYS! way, but just their personalities. I've had limited guy contact since I've been here.) We talked about slang and stuff in Russian and English, and the girls thought my demonstration of the word "emo" was hilarious. It was a really awesome time. And it made me feel better about being here. Made me feel like I can make it.

I'm only just know realizing it, but I think that this exchange is probably the hardest thing I've ever done. I didn't realize it going in. I should have. I'd heard hints about it, and Madame warned me straight out, but did I listen? No, I thought "nah, I was meant for exchange, that won't happen to me, I won't get homesick, I won't have any problems" and I haven't had any major problems, it's just that this whole experience itself is tough. I mean, it doesn't sound difficult when you lay it out in front of you

"s an exchange student you will spend ten months in a foreign country going to school, learning the language, the culture, and trying to integrate yourself while promoting world peace. " I mean going to school? It honestly doesn't sound that hard does it? But it is! Sometimes I don't appear stressed and even don't feel stressed, but I am. I mean I have to be kind and polite all the time. I have to try to remember faces that all look the same (Especially here in Yakutsk where practically every one is Yakutian and so they all have that Asian look) I have to make small talk with random people I've just met who I'm supposed to hang out with again and again even though I might think they are immature, or stupid, or whatever. I have to sit and listen to conversations that take place around me. I have to try to participate in them. I have to smile (but not too much), do my school work, get out of the house and do things, be myself, but be myself in a different way because the Russian way of thinking and acting and being me might not be the same as the American me. It's all very confusing actually.

okay enoguh of that. I'm not sure whether it was complaining, philosophy, or observation. Here's an observation. I've decided that the Russian language is basically just a collection of Root words that you combine with about a thousand prefixes and suffixes to create new words and variations on those words. You probably are thinking that since I've discovered this it's accelerated my learning of Russian. You're wrong. Honestly it's still just as hard because I never know which prefixes and suffixes I need to use to try to express what I'm trying to say. Which is really really frustrating. Not to mention my horrible grammer. I try not to giggle at the odd things my classmates say in English class because I know I sound just as bad, if not worse when I speak Russian.

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