Yesterday I ran, then I walked, then I ate, then I walked, and then I walked home.  It was a foot powered day.  Not at all sure how far I traipsed, but it must have been over 3 miles.  Running was not impressive.  I confirmed all of my students’ reactions to my running in the city with all the dirty air.  Is true.  I wasn’t physically tired most of the time, but I just couldn’t breathe.  My lungs were doing all they could to rid themselves of the pollution too, if you know what I mean.  Despite the hacking disgustingness that was me, I couldn’t help noticing that I was running through such a beautiful place.  My thoughts went something like….. ‘run, run, run, slowdownyouhavealongwaytogo, run, run, run, look, the church on spilt blood, run run run, over this tiny canal, giant park, palace, palace, ohmygodicantbreathe, cough, along this canal, beautiful, deathly air, cough, ahhh the neva river, run run run, walk walk walk LOOK another runner, run run run, fishermen, hermitage, walk through palace square, hide between cars to rid my lungs of pollution, run, walk home’.  Everyone was looking at me like I was crazy.  Like.. hard core staring at me.  Strange thing was, I didn’t care.  Screw them.  Then I got home and looked in the mirror and realized I had my crazy face on.  Some of you know the face I am talking about.  Whole face BRIGHT red, save two small ovals right on top of my cheekbones.  And…. nope, still don’t care.

After the required nap on the couch after lunch after shower after running, I went shopping!  I got two different nail polish colors at ривгош, I went to дом книги and bought two tiny Molskine notebooks and paper clips.  Met up with my student and we walked and walked and walked (Russians have their own word for walking for pleasure: гулять and they do it all the time!).  That was pretty awesome.  Elen gave me my own personal walking tour, explaining things from lineage to trivia about different sights we walked by. We ended up a couple of miles away on Nevsky Prospect (невский проспект) at a Chinese resaurant.  This was the best Chinese place I have been to here so far.  The one drawback: the whole menu is in Russian.  It’s doable, but… really freaking slow.  I had sweet and sour chicken with some really good rice with vegitables.  After about two hours of great conversation, we set out for another walk.  We walked around… saw the shortest street in St. Petersburg, almost got hit by a car, beautiful buildings… you know, Russian things.  Stopped into a small quirky drugstore type place and had a blast picking out which animal decoration we wanted on our tissues.  For the record, I got a bunny.  Elen: hamster. After leaving Elen at the metro station, I walked the half mile home, along the canal, listening to the guitarist on one of the bridges, watching small iceburgs float by (in what seemed like the wrong direction) before returning home. On foot of course.

I believe I actually had a dream about sitting in the front seat of an SUV last night.