Friday, December 23, 2005


I cannot believe that it is Christmas already. It doesn’t seem possible –mostly because I just don’t feel the spirit being so far away from home. The majority of it is that the weather here is actually pretty nice, better than what I’m use to in Colorado around this time of year and a lot warmer than what you guys are experiencing now. Plus the normal holidays that come before Christmas, like Halloween and Thanksgiving, sort of just passed me by. My whole time clock is thrown off here. In fact, my birthday was on the 17th and I still don’t feel like it took place, at all. Is that part of culture shock or is that just growing older? I’m not sure.

So nothing exciting has taken place recently, which is why there is a lack of posting being done on my part. I’ve just wrapped up my first semester of teaching, because with the holidays approaching they take time off as well. The University will have ten whole days off, starting next Friday, to celebrate New Year’s and the Orthodox Christmas. During this time, I’m not sure what is going to happen with me. As I don’t have a family here or many friends, I guess I’ll spend most of the time writing and thinking about my future plans. Once January hits, I think that I’ll realize how much time I have left here and what I need to start doing to prepare for my return home –let’s face it, I will return home and have to start the rest of my life right away and I’ll be doing it from scratch. Anyway, the only real thing I have planned for the vacation time here is to go to Moscow to take the GRE. Yeah, how fun! Needless to say, I will be spending all next week studying non-stop for that stupid test, and then on January 2nd I will leave Rostov.

My trip to Moscow will only be for about five days, which puts me back in Rostov on Christmas Day. Not sure what, if anything, I’ll be doing for that day, but as it isn’t my day I don’t think it will effect me much. In fact, I think I will be happy to see December end because since Saturday, I’ve been in an awfully bad mood. The whole homesickness has set in, and to make matters worse an actually physical illness side-swiped me on Wednesday. Now I pride myself in being a pretty independent American male but as my mother, grandmother, aunt Nola, and now Alina, can contest to when I’m sick I am the biggest baby in the world. Granted this wasn’t any small head cold or stomach cramp, it was more like a tsunami hit my gut. I was out cold most of the day, only waking to…you don’t want or need the details, just know it wasn’t pretty. As you could probably guess, or know from your own personal experience, being sick in another country, when you’re out of your element to begin with, totally sucks. At home if I were sick and my mom wasn’t around to take care of me (god forbid), I’d have gone to the store, bought medicine and such, and returned home and taken care of myself. Yet here, I had no such luxury. I had made up my mind that I was just going to ride it out until my friend Alina called and said she would bring me medicine and such. Now I won’t give away any ‘secret Russian remedy,’ but I will say that I never would have thought to take some of the things she gave me for the stomach flu… It worked in the end, however. Today I feel much, much better. Just hope it’s the last illness to visit me during my time gone.

I realize that that is probably too much about my bowel problems, but you are reading my blog. If you find this an inappropriate topic for a blog, than perhaps you should check out some other ones: I hear there is a nice Republican, ‘We Love George W. Bush,’ blog only a few more hits away from mine. Feel free to check that one out anytime. As you can guess, I must being feeling better because my smartass sense of humor is fully loaded. Let me see, I should change the subject again…but I was always yelled at about my abrupt transitions, so I will try to make this one as smooth as possible…perhaps I will now speak a little about my birthday.

My birthday was okay, I guess. Nothing spectacular. But it was my fault that nothing special took place. You see, as I said early, I’ve been in one of my funky moods -the whole I hate the rest of the world, people are the worse creatures on the earth, I just wish that a comment would fall from the heavens and strike me dead kind. So as you all can contest too, I am not the best person to hang around when I’m in such a mood. Knowing this, I took it upon myself to extradite myself from others; yet, this was seen as somewhat rude. Russians aren’t closed off like Americans, so they turn to friends/family at all times. Well if I were to turn to friends/family at all times…Jesus, the thought frightens me to death =). I’m kidding of course, but I do value my personal time and my personal time also is the time for me to do creative work, which helps me when I’m in such spirits. Okay, I digressed again, I’m sorry. Let me get back to the subject at hand, my birthday. Simply because of my (shall we say) fowl mood, I kept telling everyone not to even worry about my birthday. Of course some of them took my advice and some didn’t. Overall it was alright. I was treated to a lovely lunch at a Chinese restaurant by Galina and was also given a few nice presents from her as well. Then because I hadn’t made up my mind as what to do about my friends until 5pm that night, I ended up inviting only a few people to my room to drink. Well because of my fantastic ability to plan a part well in advanced, only three people showed up. It was Alina, Lucy, and Lucy’s husband Mustafa. It was a grand ol’ time! (If you didn’t catch the sarcasm in that statement, well then just forget it…) I spent the whole night listening to them speak Russian, when they all know English, and drinking drink after drink but to no avail –I didn’t even get drunk! I mean now this of course wasn’t the worst birthday in my life, but it wasn’t one I’ll be writing home about any time soon…Damn it! Look what I just did. I guess I am writing home about it, aren’t I? So it wasn’t horrible, and at least I found out which ‘friends’ here care about me. The only two are Lucy and Alina, without either of them I don’t know what I would do…

Well that is about it for now. I don’t know the next possible time I will post, but it probably won’t be until after the New Year and my trip to Moscow. That is unless something dramatically exciting happens to me in the next week. For now, anyway, I wish you all the very happiest of holidays (I refuse to say Merry Christmas, because some of you may be Jewish, Muslim, Atheists, whatever and I don’t want to offend). I hope that everything at home is wonderful for all of you, and that you start the New Year off with a bang! I miss all of you guys –yes, even those of you who don’t e-mail me regularly –and wish you all the best. Take Care and I’ll see you in April!!

P.s. Also a nightly event that takes place in Russia is fireworks! I swear to whatever-power-there-be that when you see them every night for three months in a row they somehow loose their meaning. The reason why I state this is because just as I am closing this blog, at 10pm, a bunch of fireworks (artillery shells) are exploding outside my window. This happens every night here, and I mean every single night. I feel like WWIII is taking place outside and I am oblivious to it. That’s life in Russia…


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