Monday, January 16, 2017

Snow Mountains

Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia
It's been snowing like crazy here lately. I swear, for what felt like two weeks straight it snowed every day. For a few days it would start at 4 pm and just snow through the night. One downside to this snow is the fact that a 15 minute bus ride can take up to 40 minutes! For example, I left for work at 2:30 today and didn't get there until around 3:15. That's absolutely crazy, in my opinion. Luckily, I just had to be at a work meeting so the education of children was not harmed by my late arrival.

Friday, January 13, 2017

С Новым Годом

Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia
Being American, or maybe just me, New Year's was never a big deal. When I was a kid I used to go stay with friends, but as I got older I just didn't really care. I was in Spain last New Year's, but being in Russia on New Years is kind of lonely because it's a family holiday and if you don't have family there isn't anywhere to go. Elizabeth and I decided we would get together and make tacos. We asked our friends to come over and were surprised that they were able to because I was under the impression it was a big family holiday. Of course, they didn't spend the whole night but they were able to enjoy tacos for the first time.

After they left we still had a few hours until midnight, so Elizabeth and I decided to watch a movie and eat chips and dip. I missed eating chips and dip so much I actually went to the store two days later to buy some. We watched Elf, and can you believe it was my first time watching it? It was cute, but I won't make it a Christmas tradition. I still prefer Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Christmas Story.
At midnight we decided to walk outside and watch the fire works. We went outside right at midnight, and it was such a eerie feeling being outside because it was so quiet and the city felt so empty. It was snowing pretty heavily, and it was quite windy while we were out. We tried lighting some sparklers but I'm assuming they were too old because they wouldn't light.

About 12:15-12:20 people started exiting their houses and saying "С Новым Годом" (Happy New Year) to each other. Then, there was an activity of fire works that was almost constant until I fell asleep close to 3 am. We hadn't planned on spending too much time outside so we parted around 1 am. My walk home was horrible. I could barely see because of the snow pelting my eyeballs. I was completely covered in snow, but I saved you the horror of seeing the selfie I sent A and my parents. I ended the night with an hour Skype call to my mom.
How was your New Years?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Helsinki, Pt. 5: Kärpät Hockey Game

Nordenskiöldinkatu 11, 00250 Helsinki, Finland
Friday night was the whole reason for this trip. Well, it wasn't the WHOLE reason for the trip but it made a good excuse to go to Finland. My cousin, Johnny, plays hockey for Oulun Kärpät. I actually didn't even know he played for a Finnish team until this trip! (As you can tell I talk to my family a lot...). I'm not going to pretend I know anything about hockey, so I don't have much to say in this post. I am used to going to sporting events for the home team, and this game was an away game for my cousin. This might be why I had completely different experiences at this hockey game compared to the Salavat Yulaev game in Ufa. It wasn't bad, it was just different.

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Year's Work Party

The Thursday before New Year's was my work's New Year's Party. New Year's is a big deal here in Russia, and I was looking forward to attending this party since I was in Spain last year and missed it. I was mostly curious to see how this would be different from our beginning of the year parties. It wasn't so different. There was plenty of champagne and everyone stood up every so often to give a toast, but the main difference was the abundance of Russian salads.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Helsinki, Pt. 4

Helsinki, Finland
Looking back on my trip to Helsinki I realized how much we actually packed into our Friday. It didn't seem like we did much at the time, but the fact that I have four separate blog posts tells me a different story. We knew we would have some time during the day to sightsee, but we had to be back around 5 pm in order to make it to my cousins hockey game.

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