It hit me a few days ago that it is April. Time flies by so fast. I'll try to get you all caught up on what's been happening with my oh so busy life in Russia.
I have taken a couple of day trips since the last post. The first one was to Rostov which is one of the towns on the Golden Circle. We went on a bus tour accompanied by our lovely Russian friend Alina. It was basically a tour for Russians and with Russians. I'm not going to lie, I'm going to be very honest. I am pretty tired of churches. I am tired of hearing about church this and church that and then going to visit churches. And of course, this trip that was filled with churches. We stopped at a monastery and we walked around the grounds for a bit. The weather was actually pretty nice, the sun was shining! I went on top of a tower and saw this huge frozen lake which was pretty nice. It was quite entertaining to see Russians not only ride their bikes across the lake, but also drive their cars. Our last stop was of course at the Kremlin, We had a tour of the place with the other Russian people and afterwards were allowed to roam free. During our free time, we decided to have lunch at the restaurant inside the Kremlin. It was pretty awesome inside the restaurant, it was like some kind of middle age banquet style seating. The trip was pretty nice. I'll have a link to an album on facebook at the bottom of my post.
The other day trip we took was to the lovely state of Abramtsevo. It's basically a museum that used to be an colony of some of the most famous Russian artists. It's about an hour and a half outside of Moscow. I visited Abramtsevo last semester but that was only with Pat and Amy so it was everyone else's chance to see it. Our conversation teacher and her friend joined us on the trip which turned out to be great. The weather was really nice and the lake/river by Abramtsevo wasn't frozen so it was a really pretty view walking up to it. One of the cool things about this trip was that it was totally all organized by us(the group) and there was no guided excursion. Also there were no churches! Haha ok well that's a lie. There was a tiny church built by the artists for themselves way back when but I was inside for a max of 10 seconds so it doesn't count. I really enjoyed our little outing and I could definitely feel that spring has sprung.
Moscow is FINALLY getting warmer! The sad thing is that I don't think I am going to have a lot of time to enjoy it. One of the main reasons... well actually probably the only reason that I haven't written in a while is that I have been so busy. School and my internship have kept me pretty busy. Although I of course try to make time to stroll down Old Arbat while the sun is still out at 8 PM(What?!?!?!). One of the things that happened recently that was just amazing to me is this long dinner conversation with homegurl Eleonora about gender essentialism, feminism, and gay stuff. She was quite receptive to my ideas, which I was kind of surprised at. It was also weird for me to try explaining some of concepts especially when like this stuff NEVER comes up in Russian class. After our conversation she said to me "You know, I am really glad I met you because you really have changed my perception of what a gay person is. Before I was afraid and didn't like them, but now I know that they're people who deserve respect and love just like everyone else". It was so amazing to hear that. And I am really glad that I made even a small change in this world. Also, another big thing that happened in the home front was the arrival of my new apartment-mate Darcy. She is pretty awesome, and she's from Ohio University. I have lovely dinner conversations with her and we exchange impressions about the Russians, it's so great. So hopefully I will have more time to write in the future.
Link to Rostov Photos: