Yesterday, Raisa decided that it was time to do a major clean-up of the apartment. My guess is it was because one, New Year's is coming, and Two, Aita comes home tomorrow. I did the dishes and was sitting in the kitchen watching TV and I felt kind of bad that I wasn't helping so, I got up and got up the nerve to ask Raisa if she needed any help.
My first job was to spritz the plants in my room with water. Having completed that, my next task was to sweep the floor of my room. It felt really odd to be sweeping a floor with a vacum when there's no carpet on it. A lot of Russian Apartments don't do the carpet thing. In our whole apartment we have two squares of carpet. One under Raisa's bed, and one under the couch. Following the sweepage, I dusted my bookshelf and re-arranged things.
Honestly, I didn't mind the work. It felt good. Do you know how much exercise you get from working? It's amazing what muscles I stretched and how many calories I probably burned. And since my room wasn't that bad off to start with, it's not a problem or a big issue to straighten it up.
Basically when I finished my room, I asked Raisa what else needed to be done. She told me she could do the rest herself, but I did help her dust some hard to reach places. It's nice being tall with long arms. :)
Tyotya Lena called and brought us some apples and mandarins for a New Year's gift. A big box of mandarins and A huge box of apples. So I helped Raisa carry those in too. Since Raisa told me that she could handle the rest herself, I plopped down on the couch and ate some fruit while watching our Russian soap opera. (Ah, the drama!) While I was doing said activity, Alex called and Raisa answered the phone.
One of the people I've been hanging out with lately is a guy named Alex. I met him though my tutor at the Ped Akademia, which is the teaching college here in the city. He spent six months doing work and travel in California last year I believe, and wanted to meet me and keep up his english skills, so we occasionally get together, pit' chai, and talk.
Raisa has never met said friend and him being a guy and all, I was a little worried that she'd like freak out or something. Especially since this is the second time she's answered the domashnee phone when he's called. However, she merely handed the phone over to me, and I chatted for a bit, and she made some calls of her own on her sotovii, or cell.
When we both got off the phone, the Spanish Inquisition began. I knew it was coming, but I was really nervous.
"Who was that?" Raisa asked.
"Uh...A friend from the Ped Akademia. He's one of Lena's Students."
"What does he study?"
"English. He lived in California for six months."
"Last year I think."
"What's his name?"
"What year is he?"
"Is he tall?"
"Is he tall or is he little."
"Uh, tall, taller than me."
"Oh that's okay then. You can hang out with him if he's tall."
And we laughed, and it was hilarious because I learned a new colloquial word which means "to hang out" and I don't know it was just really funny because she was like "Oh he's okay, you can hang out with him." And it was just funny. And so with that, and the work, I came out feeling closer to Raisa and it was a good feeling.
Raisa's daughter in America changes families on the 6th or 7th of January. I don't know if I'll be changing families here after the holidays or not. When Maria, the club president talked to me at my birthday about changing families I think she said something about changing in January. So I suppose that I'll have to ask again. If they leave the choice up to me, it'll be really hard because I like it here with Raisa, but at the same time it would be cool to see how another family works. Who I'd really like to live with is Maria, but she has a little baby (For those of you who've seen the flickr pictures) so I don't think that would happen. Who knows though. I'm not going to worry about it right now. I'll deal with it after the holidays.
Speaking of the holidays, my friend Nina invited me to meet the new year with her and her family. It was really cool and I was honored that she asked me, however I refused, because I've been planning on meeting the New Year with Raisa, Aita, and the family for a while and I don't know, I just felt like I should keep to my plan. Perhaps it was not good, perhaps I should've met the new year with Nina but I'm not. Nina wasn't insulted when I turned her down. At least, I hope not.
I do believe that 2008 is the year of the Rat according to the chinese calender? How do I know this? Because there are mice suddenly appearing everywhere. tree ornaments, decorations, stuffed animals, as the TV channel ТНТ's logo thingy. It's interesting how much that influences the celebration here.
I was planning on going to a random Targovii center today. Maybe randomly riding a bus or something. Raisa called a little bit ago and is like "Be home around five because you're going to a corporate dinner with Maria." ooh. Okay. I have no idea what I'll be doing (if anything) there or even who will be there. I just know that it's at a restaurant (thouh I don't know which one) and that I have to wear my Tufli (good shoes). It starts at five I guess. I'm praying it's over before ten because Love Actually is going to be on TV tonight and I want to watch it sooo bad. I've been in the mood to see it for weeks. It's one of my favorite movies, and my all-time favorite christmas movie!
Edit: By the way, for those of you who check my pictures, I've recently updated with some pictures of the trees in various squares around the city. Check it out!