October 2008

Well, I am here.  And by ‘here’ I mean ‘not in Madison’.  Being here feels so much better than being home.  It’s terrible to say, but there is a ton less pressure on me now, and, while I love Seattle, it isn’t a constant reminder that ‘YOU ARE LEAVING THIS PLACE YOU LOVE, THESE PEOPLE YOU LOVE, ETC’.  It seems I have scaled the largest emotional obstacle in this adventure.

This morning, I lost ‘the rock’ (the gift from Trinity – like a worry stone).  I had left it in my jeans pocket from the day before so when I picked those jeans up this morning, the rock fell out and bounced somewhere out of sight.  Calm, caluclated chaos ensued.  Don’t worry though, I found it at the bottom of the second suitcase I emptied onto the floor.  Not before my room looked like this:

Maddy remembers me!  Yay!  We’ve been going on walks everyday and seeing some sights.  The mountains and the city and the water are just beautiful.  I wonder if they need English teachers…. hmmm.


Today’s the day.  I won’t see Wisconsin again for 9 months – who thought I would ever be really sad about that?!  I kid, I kid…  Seems like I have everything I need to get done, done.  Now I just need to leave!

Really excited about seeing Brian and Patsy (and Co.) and Maddy tonight, even if it will be super late.  Tomorrow I have to turn in my stuff for my visa, already.  Hope nobody will be dissapointed if I post stuff about Seattle…. I know it isn’t St. Petersburg, but it is for sure the intermediate step on my way there.

Ride with me!

So.  I am all moved out of Madison (tear*) and trying to wrap things up here out in the boondocks of Wisconsin.  My mom doesn’t have the internet (I KNOW!) so I am hopping from place to place to get my fix.

When I checked my email today, I had a message from a guy named ‘Vadim’, informing me of my accomodation while in St. Pete.  Awesome – I thought, I was totally going to try and find the guy to talk to about that.  Turns out, I will be in a homestay at least until December 23 or 24th, when I can move to a shared flat if I want.  But, he wants to know NOW if will want to move to a shared flat THEN.  I am guessing that, yes, I would like to move to a shared flat – I don’t know!

The homestay includes the ‘land-lady’, her cat and another teacher.  Vadim said I could ‘work on my Russian’.  HA.  How many times can I say goodbye, yes, no, and thank you before I’ve about got it down?  I am excited about the cat though.  A Russian Kitty!

Anyway, that’s the update of the hour.

Yesterday was an eventful day.  I spent WAY too much money on things, but most of them I needed.  Then I took the trip to the travel clinic here in town.  I was under the impression that I was going in just for the HIV test required to get a visa.  OH no.  I ended up with this x2:

That’s my arm, people.  I also had FOUR vials of blood drawn to check my immunizations for measles, mumps and ruebella AND for the aformentioned HIV test.  Those ‘pokes’ were for Hepititus A, Tetnus, Typhoid and Influenza.

I also got my hair cut yesterday (part of the spending way too much money).  So that’s the cut.

Soused?  For sure.  Last night was part one of my going away party, and I had a good time.  One of the best pictures of the night:

I can’t even describe how amazing it is to me that so many people went out on a rainy, cool Tuesday night.  The book of letters I got from my friends was SO ME.  It was so so perfect and moving and exaclty what I need to have with me on my journey.  To those of you who sent in your feelings – I love you too, and thank you over and over.

Generally, I had a great time, and I hope everyone else who was there did too.  If you want more pictures, see my picasa web album, ‘From Now till Then’.

There are more than 10 reasons, I’m sure, but these are the most likely.

10.  Normal dangers that occur anywhere – choking, drowning, accidental decapitation, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, etc.

9.  I will be hit by a car or taxi, both of which regularly run through red lights.

8.  I will freeze to death while waiting for an imaginary train/subway/bus/taxi/hydrofoil, despite my awesome coat.

7.  I will be abducted in an unmarked taxi and killed.

6.  I will be beaten to death by gang of Russian national pride youths.

5.  I could get totally lost, ending up in Siberia, where I would certainly be eaten by tigers.

4.  Russian war with anyone – killed in bombing.

3. I will forget to refrain from drinking the water in St. Petersburg, which could ‘lead to permanent stomach problems’ (you know, or death).

2.  I will forget one of the hundreds of steps involved in being in Russia legally – any of which could land me in prison.

1.  I will lose my passport/visa when the cops stop me on the street to ‘randomly check my documents’.  I will then be put in prison where I will be killed or detained indefinately.

I spent over $1,000 online tonight.  yikes.

Leaving WI for good: October 26, 7pm

Leaving the US for good (from Seattle): November 8.

It’s real, folks.  FOR REALZ.