Well, We successfully rang in the New Year on the night of December 31st. The pictures are up on my flickr account. The link to which is at the top of the page. The family came over. There were nine of us, which made the apartment feel tiny. It was fun though. I hung out with my host sister, Aita, and our host cousins. This basically involved sitting at the computer exploring the collection of old school video games that my host cousin had on his Flashka. i.e. Flashdrive. The two funniest games were Michal Jackson's Moonwalker, and a really bad Japanese version of a Harry Potter game where Dudley looked like a Sumo wrestler.
At five minutes to midnight, we gathered around the TV for President Putin's annual speech which I heard none of as we were taking pictures. We toasted the new year with Champagne, and several people wrote down a wish on a piece of paper and swallowed it with some champagne so that it will come true in the New Year.
Right after the new year rang, the fireworks started. People from all over the neighborhood were shooting off fireworks. It made for a really awesome display. We watched from the windows of our apartment. I loved it! seeing the fireworks, seeing the people. It was just really cool.
A little while later, we did the presents. There weren't a ton, but it was nice. I gave apple butter and postcards to Babushka and Dedushka, and my aunt and Uncle. I gave the "kids" comic books/magazines in English, and I gave Raisa a blanket with sights from my city on it. It was pretty cool. I got a jewelry box from Aita, an assortment of Yakutian souveniers from my aunt and uncle, and Raisa gave me a really pretty bracelet.
We ate a lot of course. I had Yakutian ice cream, fish, potatos, russian salads. I tried holodets which is really really nasty. It's kind of like peppery chicken flavored jello. Icky! There was also an assortment of cold and frozen fish in the Yakutian tradition. I don't mind the frozen fish, but I hate dealing with the bones. I like frozen meat better.
The family all left around two or after, and we did some minor clean-up and hit our beds around three.
And I guess that's my Russian new year. I enjoyed myself, was glad that I got to experience it.
It's weird to think about it, I've suddenly already started my fifth month. I'm on the downhill part of my exchange. AHHHH! I'm terrified! Before I know it I'll be getting off a plane and hugging my parents (Which I'm looking forward too) yet it scares me because as I've mentioned before, I've kind of got this thing for Russia. What am I going to do when I can't speak Russian anymore? When my friends tell me that I need to speak english because I'm not in Russia anymore. What will I do without amazing ice cream, and the drama here, and the russian bureaucracy? I know, it's seems early as I still have five and a half months, but I've learned how fast time goes, and these five months are going to fly. Especially when spring rolls around and trips and stuff start happening. AHHHH! I don't know what to do with myself!