this post about the international seminar. It was one of my favorite moments from last year because I love conferences. Tuesday and Wednesday were this year's seminar. Unlike last year, this one was two days long which meant lots of food was involved. I was kind of confused on how it would work this year because my director told us it was two days, but that we would only present once.
The first day took place at the pedagogical university. I arrived pretty early, so, per usual, I told the security guards I didn't speak English and they let me in anyways. I love how people just don't want to deal with me because I don't speak Russian. I wasn't exactly sure where to go so I just headed to the auditorium we were in last year. When I got there I tried asking if anyone spoke English to make sure I was in the right place, but no one did. Luckily, I saw my schools logo and took a seat. Now, before you say, "Why didn't you just ask them in Russian?" I'll tell you that when I'm nervous all my Russian knowledge goes out the window, so I ask questions in English.
Finally, my director showed up and introduced me to Vera, one of the presenters from Moscow. We chatted a bit until the presentations started. We noted how everyone in the audience looked very young, which was surprising to me because last year everyone looked like they were in their 30s and older. Later, we found out that the seminar on Tuesday was for university students. Vera and Jeremy, my colleague at ABIC, were the first to present, and their presentations were amazing. The other two spoke in Russian, but from what everyone told me they weren't that interesting. When the first four presentations were finished we, the presenters, went to have some tea before lunch.
Gastro Gallery. I had been there once before but only to drink beer. I wasn't sure what to expect because I heard their steak was amazing but the rest of their food wasn't that good. Like every meal in Russia we started out with a salad. After the salad we ate soup and after the soup we had our main dish of steak and potatoes. All the while there were vegetables and bread on the table as well. We finished with tea and some kind of dessert (pictured above). I have to tell you, I am not a meat eater, but this steak was AMAZING. I don't know what they did to it but it was so gosh-darned good. The potatoes were great as well. I'm salivating just writing about it.
Right before we left I went into the bathroom and took way too many photos. It was beautiful! Did you ever think someone would say that about a bathroom?! See for yourself though. I couldn't help it.
I arrived to dinner an hour late, around 7 pm, but I didn't miss much. Again, there was so much food and three courses of salad, soup, and a main dish. I ate so much kiwi and caviar that I thought I was going to explode. I'm also someone who usually eats everything if it's sitting in front of me but I ate so much throughout the day that I couldn't even finish all my potatoes.
Friday, March 31, 2017
Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia
Monday, March 27, 2017
Last week was in the upper 30s, and the sun was shining all day, which meant the snow was melting. I was overjoyed because I'm so over the snow. I also just ripped my boots and had to throw them away so I don't have anything to keep my feet dry and warm. Then, on Saturday, it started to snow again. It was a really depressing moment to walk outside and see 2 inches of snow on the ground. My feet were getting wet because my other boots aren't waterproof and I'm scared to wear my rain shoes outside since they have heels and I'm not used to walking on uneven surfaces. I'm extremely clumsy. I just want to be able to walk on ice-free streets!
I've also been a little somber lately. I really like my apartment and where I live, and I get sad thinking that I'm going to be leaving in a few months. I still don't know where I'll be in July. I applied to several jobs in the USA and one in Russia. I also have opportunities to move to Moscow. I want to stay in Russia, but I also know that I have a ton of school loans to pay back and making under $400 a month isn't going to pay them. On the other hand, I am terrible at interviews, so I don't want to move back and have to work 3 part time jobs again. I really fear that will happen. But if I move back I will have more opportunity to travel because I'll make more and save more. I'm broke right now, which is why I haven't been traveling this year.
Do you have any ideas of free things to do in the city or places to take photos? I've been feeling uninspired lately.
Friday, March 24, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017
Friday, March 17, 2017
Monday, March 13, 2017
We were in line at the check out, and one woman asked if I had a card for the store. I said, "Yes," and handed her my card. A couldn't believe it. Just moments before the cashier asked if I had the same card and A answered for me, "No," until I told him, "Yes, I do have it." He couldn't believe that I understood the question. Truth is, I still can't hold a conversation in Russian. I can barely form a sentence, but after living here for a year and a half you learn things about language acquisition that you wouldn't think possible. Here are a few things I learned about language learning and the Russian language in general.
Friday, March 10, 2017
Last Saturday was just what I needed to kick start my spring. I finally felt more motivated to go out after 7 pm, and more willing to meet with people. Sorry to any of those people who want to meet up! It's not you, it's me! I met Elizabeth around 4 because we wanted to get together and she's always willing to go on photo hunts with me. I had intentions of taking photos of an old building only to find that it was covered in some kind of tarp, so the only photo I managed to get was the one above. We walked a bit when I started to get hungry so we decided to get dinner. We chose Cafe Barashki because neither of us had been there since my birthday, and they have really great food.. During dinner my friend called me to see if I wanted to meet at a pub that night. I haven't seen her since August, so I agreed to go. After dinner Elizabeth and I walked home where I waited a little bit to go back out. It was so great to see my friend, Elmira, and meet her family. I even got to meet another friend who has constantly been inviting me to the pub, but I've always been to tired to go. The night starts so late here in Russia, and I'm seriously an old women who likes to be in bed by 10 pm.
All in all, it was a good weekend to recharge and get me ready for spring. How was your weekend? Any plans this weekend?
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Women's Day celebration in Ufa? It feels like just yesterday that I celebrated with my class and A and I went to the abandoned observatory. Last year Women's Day was on a Tuesday, so we had Monday and Tuesday off of work. This year we only had today off so I wanted to make the most of it. If you saw my Instagram post yesterday you saw that A bought me flowers. It's so sweet when he does that, but I was going to tell him not to buy me anything because I'd rather he save his money. It's like he can read my mind and decided to buy me flowers the day before. One of my students also got me Dove chocolates which was so stinking cute, and I almost ate the whole box. Oops.