Just got home from the weekly Wednesday sushi indulgence. Twas good. Horray for mid week!

Last weekend most of the teachers at Language Link went on a guided tour of the town of Vyborg on the Finnish/Russian border. That was pretty fun. The weather was beautiful, or at least as beautiful as we could ask for. The sky was clear, which is even more unusual than I believed before. We learned on our bus ride up to Vyborg that St. Petersburg has an averaged of 30 sunny days a year. A YEAR! That’s a little more than two a month. And you thought I was crazy for freaking out when the sun came back. In Vyborg we saw some old ruins, a castle, the gulf of Finland, and so on. We rode a really really nice bus there and back. Like, the nicest bus I have ever been on. We watched a movie called, “Everything is Illuminated” on the way back.

The strongest emotion I had toward the trip was frustration and embarrassment, which then turned into an anxiety filled sadness that I felt toward the town. At one point when we got off the bus to go look at something old, this early teenage boy asked me something in Russian on the edge of a pitiful looking football pitch (that’s soccer field to you guys). I had no idea what he said, so I told him I spoke English, so he asked me ‘How long?’. I was like.. um, how long, what? So I asked him in Russian, ‘how many, what?’ Which confused the crap out of him, I think, so I called Liza over, and I guess the little punk was just asking what time it was. The fact that I didn’t know such a simple question sent me into that spiral of thinking that I was stupid and helpless and that Russians were mean. It didn’t help that the twerp flipped us the bird as we pulled away. Really though, at what point don’t you point to your imaginary watch? Isn’t that supposed to be pretty universal?  Despite all of that, I got some great pics of the city and the sunset through the bus window.

I felt pretty trapped, almost claustrophobic, on the ride home. There isn’t much difference between being trapped in a small elevator or being stuck in a country that is constantly reminding you that you aren’t home and can’t speak the language. I can’t get away from it… it’s even more similar to being stuck in an elevator with someone with whom you can’t communicate.

That feeling now has pretty much passed. Time is still flying by at light speed. I bought some running shoes this weekend… Not without having to run in place in the store to get my request for ‘running shoes’ across. Sad. Will start running soon, which will be awesome! Oh, and I calculated ‘half way’ using a tool on http://www.timeanddate.com. It’s on April 1st. FIVE DAYS!

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