Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Long Day

Raisa came into my room last night at about 11:15 pm. She goes "You're not asleep?" I was like "nope." I'd just gone to bed. She basically told me that tomorrow (IE Saturday which was today) she was going to do something at a lake. I could go with her if I wanted or If I prefered I could go to school. I bet you can guess which one I picked. I'm up for just about any adventure that gets me out of school.

So I got up today, and put on my lovely underarmor because Raisa said it would be cold. Bundled up, and with the daughter of one of Raisa's co-workers accompanying us, we drove to the lake.

Once we got to the lake, we drove on it to somewhere out in the middle. Yes, you read that right. We drove On the lake. Don't worry, it was nice and frozen. I really had no idea why we were there, to be perfectly honest, but I asked what exactly the people were doing and all soon became clear.

The family of Raisa's coworker, Tatiyana, were cutting blocks of ice out of the lake so they could have water all winter. I think it's water for their dacha, but maybe they hall them into the city and use them at home, I'm not really sure. What I do know is that it's an interesting process. A process that unfortunately I'm not going to describe here, because I'm a lazy bum. Besides a picture's worth a thousand words right? So if you want to know about the process, you can check it out Here at my photos page.

From what I understood, they can drink the water at this particular lake because it doesn't have any organisims in it. So they make piles of ice blocks and haul them home throughout the winter. Tatiyana let me taste some of the ice. It was sweet on my tongue.

We came back just in time for my first lesson on the Khomus. Which really excited me. I have since discovered that learning the Khomus is harder than I thought it would be. Who would've thought you need so much technique for such a simple looking instrument?

After class, I ran home because I needed some money to give the girl who was going to color my hair. So I went to the bankomat at the post office. But it was out of money. I was rather frustrated. Mostly because this meant that I had to walk clear to the other end of the city. On the way I stopped and bought the book I mentioned previously.

On my way to the bankomat, Kolya, a guy I know from the university called and was like "hey want to go to the Miss Yakutia pageant?" and I was like "okay." So I had to tell the hair-coloring girl that we couldn't do it today and I'll have to call her.

So I pulled out some money, and bought a ticket to the Miss yakutia pageant and spent three and a half hours of my life watching girls parade around. But it was actually kind of interesting in some ways. The tiara they awarded Miss Yakutia is very yakutian looking.

I've noticed something about Russia. Events are kind of like my family. Because to every concert-type thing I've gone to has started late. This is no joke. I've been to events where it says the concert/event starts at seven. Like that is the time printed on the ticket, and then it actually doesn't start until twenty to thirty minutes later. It's just, interesting.

Anyway, so I hung out with Kolya and Lena, another girl from the university I met. After Miss Yakutia was crowned, Kolya called a taxi for Lena and I and we hopped in to go home.

The taxi driver was a jerk. He realied I was foreign and promptly decided that he wouldn't be able to understand anything I said. No lie. He actually said that. Lena told me. And told me that I should pay before the end. (originally I was going to pay when I got out) so I leaned forward and asked the taxi driver "Do you want the money now?" And he was like "what?" And I said "Do you want the money now?" and then he said something I didn't catch and Lena was like "what are you trying to say?" amd so I told her in English and she said to the taxi driver "Can we pay now?" and of course he understood that. Whatever. Tell me that if you were a taxi driver and somebody with an accent asked if you wanted the money now, you would understan what they meant? I would. Urgh. I'd heard stories of taxi drivers pulling stuff like that. I guess it's the truth.

We're doing something else at the lake tomorrow. I think it might involve reindeer, but honestly, I'm never sure. Sometimes I think someone says something and they really said something else.

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