Sunday, December 09, 2007


Actually, it's not that I'm lackadazical, it's just that the past few days I honestly haven't felt like getting on the computer. So I haven't. So maybe that makes me lackadazical. I don't know. It's not that I don't care about what's going on at home, it's just that lately I've been feeling rather what I call "abstract" about stuff. Like Home. i.e. The people and the building back home in the states is there, but in an "abstract" way.

Ooh, just a random thought, but you know that guy with the cat in the box? Schrodinger? Maybe? And it's like while the box is closed up the cat doesn't exist because it can't be seen? My question is since I can't see the people back home does it mean that they don't exist? But they e-mail me so what does that prove? And what's more since they can't see me does that mean that I don't exisit either? Then why am I sitting here in Russia typing this?

Okay, enough philosophy, back to the entry. Maybe the best way to describe these feelings is sort of a lack of emotion. Apathy? no, that's "I don't Care" there's a word for it, but I forget what it is. I've been noticing that about other stuff too. It's like I'm not happy, and not sad, I just am.

Another example is the holidays. They're coming up. In America I guess that there's like two weeks until christmas. I'm not excited about Christmas because it's not a major holiday here. New Year's is. Yet, I'm not really excited about New Year's either. It's just like, I am.

The good news is that I've discovered that I really do enjoy my time here. Remember how I mentioned the deportation thing in my last blog entry? I mentioned it because we went to finish getting me registered in the city and the guy told us I had the wrong kind of visa, that mine was only good for three months and I was going to have to leave in two days. When he said that, I was ready to dig my feet in and start fighting. Because doggone it, my departure date is July 11th and I'm not leaving a moment before. The Rotary club here has been amazing with helping me get that straightened out, and so it turns out there's nothing to worry about.

SO yeah, I'm more content here, My language is going well. I even had a dream worth remembering in Russian. That was pretty exciting! I'd been talking with Raisa about speaking up during class and then that night I had a dream. In it we were having history in our english room (Which we sometimes do) only my english teacher was teaching it. And my deskmate asked me if there were questions I had about what we were going over, so I raised my hands and asked questions. The funniest thing was that in my dream, my russian was as broken and ungrammatically correct as it was in real life. Heh heh heh.

What else can I report? Well, I'm pretty sure I'm going on the trip to China. I found out that it's technically not a rotary trip, but the woman who's running it is the rotary youth exchange coordinator for our district. The only thing is that I have to ask her a question about Muti-entry visas.

My question of the day is why in English can't we combine words to make new ones? it's really frustrating. Like in Russian the word госплан which we were talking about in history class. I'd never heard/seen that word before but knew immediately that it was state-plan. See? there's like no good translation for it. It's a combination of the word for "state" and the word for "plan" or I was reading the newspaper the other day, and in a political cartoon the guy said something about "многопартиность" (I don't remember the exact word) once again, I'd never seen the word before but I took the parts and came to the conclusion that it was "Many parties" or something like that. Again, it doesn't translate well.

Speaking of the newspaper, I know that news on TV here and the TV channels in general are basically state run, but I'm not sure about the newspapers. When I was reading the paper yesterday there were several articles that seemed to be criticizing Putin. The political cartoon had a man asking a shadowy figure "What happend to 'multi-parties' " and the shadowy figure replying that "it drowned" (Or maybe didn't succeed as the verb means both) and the title of another article was "Not 'state' duma" (It's hard to convey the tone in english) so I think that maybe there's still some freedom of the press here.

I read a newspaper article once about how putin said that in the news, the United States should be portrayed as an enemy. So since I've been here, I've been trying to see if that's the truth. Honestly, I have no idea. I will say that most of the times they report on the United states, it's in a not very good light, but then doesn't the news always report on the bad things? They did have a news story on the Christmas tree that was going to be put up in Rockefeller center so isn't that a positive thing?

I don't know it seems to me like I'm trying to find truth when there is none. I mean if you think about in America don't we do what Russia's doing in our own way? I mean everytime we learn about Russia in history class, it's always in a negative light. That doesn't mean I'm excusing Stalin, but how many schoolkids in America think that all russians are communists? And most of the news articles you read about Russia in the newspaper are negative too.

It doesn't mean that I'm all in love with the Motherland. It doesn't mean that I'm un-american. I don't think the Russians are right about everything either. I'm just an observer of this world, wondering how do you define truth, when it seems like there is more than definition?

1 comment:

lebenohnegebaeude said...

hey abigail, i'm "lebenohnegebaeude" from the cs-forum, and i just thought i'd leave something here for you. i like your blog a lot, it's great to see young people (as if i was so old haha) caring about what happens around them. as for the newspaper and press freedom things, it probably depends on which newspaper you were reading. there are some critical ones, like Новая газета, which is the one Анна Политковская worked for. as you know she was murdered, so erm, i guess that means there's not that much freedom after all. (and she's not a single case, she was just the most popular one. but you know that anyways.) like, you CAN theoretically criticize the system and if i'm not mistaken there's a law supposed to make sure there's press freedom established in the Горбачёв-era, as a result of the гласность-process he initiated, but: you put yourself in serious danger by doing it. as you might notice, i'm pretty much digging the topic right now, and i found an article that says that unfortunately the russians aren't very interested in reading political newspapers, and that's why good critical newspapers don't sell very well. a reason for this might be the raising awareness that voting doesn't really make a difference and as they can't really take part in political decisions, they just lose interest at all. (which makes it kind of a vicious circle i think...) anyways, getting to the point of it all, if you're interested in the whole media thing, i recommend you to take a look at, it's kind of a collection of russian mass-media of all kinds, newspapers, online-media, radio stations,... i just thought you might find that interesting.
i hope you're having a good time in yakutsk, i'm leaving for tomsk in about a month and i'm starting to get quite nervous about it.. keep on blogging in a free world ;)
greets from austria