I feel like I haven't given you a real update on what I've been doing lately, so buckle up 'cause here it goes.
May 9th was a big holiday here. Vicotry day. It is a rememberance of those who perished in WWII (Like one of every two people. And I'm only slightly exaggerating) as well as a celebration of the millitary might of the motherland which successfully overcame the evil Fascists. Never mind that they originally started out on the same side.
It was an interesting celebration. In the morning the family and I went out to Ploshad Pobedy i.e. Victory square. There, the street in front of the square had been closed off and turned into a pedestrian walk. There were all sorts of tents set up selling everything from toys, balloons, cakes, drinks, and the russian version of hot dogs (Can you say Kapusta(Cabbage) and lots of mayo?) We stood around for a while, and we were introduced to some Business partners of Misha's from Taiwan. The one guy spoke english really well and had an interesting chat with him.
The main reason we were standing around in the middle of the street is we were waiting for the parade to start. Now, when I say parade I don't mean like The parade we have in our city every august with the floats and the bands and the candy and all that. This is a military parade, where the ranks of Yakutsk's finest march through the street. There was no orderly queing up on the sides of the streets for this parade. Instead we all stood milling around, waiting for the parade to start and hoping to be towards the front. How did the parade get through you ask? Well...It was preceeded by a few police cars and the police themselves basically shoving us back and going "GET BACK! GET BACK!" It was a really interesting experience. Thankfully, I was in the front row which was interesting because I literally had people packed tight around me on three sides. The fourth side being where the parade was so I couldn't go forward. The parade itself lasted all of five minutes. Actually, it was probably less. There were like for or five groups of military people, including my boys. They marched past, yay, and then we went home.
The afternoon was spent having a barbecue on a mountain overlooking the still mostly frozen Lena River. It was a party thing going on with the taiwanese people, some Yakutian people and our family. I ate too much, but couldn't resist as Shashlik is just so tasty. I've seen enough made by now, and know enough about it that I may try and make it for people back home when I get there. The views were beautiful, I hung out with Natasha and did some translating between Russian and English. Learning something in the process. It was a fun afternoon.
Let's see, what else have I been doing...Well...The other day I went with Raisa to a violin concert. It turned out to be a really fun evening and we even got tasty ice cream from Buon Appetito.
The 12th was Nina's birthday. In the evening she had some friends to a restaurant called "Chicago" which is labeled (in English) as a "bar&grill" So the cheese sticks weren't exactly like America but when you haven't had cheese sticks in a while you take what you can get. Oh and we had salads. Like real salad with lettuce. Not russian salad. I was pretty excited about that. The evening was rather entertaining. There was the awkward moment when I got orderded a Martini and didn't realize it was for me until it came and I was like "uh...I don't drink..." but other than that. it was a good time.
Our last official day of school is today. We have last bell, which we've been preparing for, on Saturday morning. Then we're officially done. Oh and I have to come in tomorrow and return all my textbooks. I brought them today but forgot that the school library is closed on Wednesdays. There's no way I'm hauling them all home, so I'm leaving them in the garderobe and going to come in sometime tomorrow morning.
The weather here's been gorgeous. The puddles have basically evaporated and it's been basically hot (at least in my opinion.) The morning temperature is +11 (yeah, we're positive now) in the afternoon it ranges between 15-20 and the evening it cools down again. I've basically stopped wearing a jacket and hoodie. The other day I was leaving school and wearing just my t-shirt and Nina's like "aren't you cold?" and I'm like "are you nuts?" because if I'd worn a hoodie or jacket I would've been dying of heat stroke. The other thing is that since we've got the polar days going on, it doesn't get fully dark until almost midnight. Yeah. I mean the sun goes down, but the sky is this blue color, not black, and if you look in the west, you can see it's still light. Pretty cool, except when you try to sleep in and the sun's blaring. It comes up really early. One morning a few weeks ago, I woke up and it was already really light out. For posterity I looked at my watch. 4:30am. I've taken to closing my curtains before bed so the light doesn't blare quite so much. But honestly, I love it. Better than it being dark all the time.
Well, I feel better now that I've given you all a better update of my life. I'll shut up now and let you get back to your lives. heh heh.