Last weekend my colleague, Patrick, and I went to the town/city of Meleuz. The reason for our travel was because we were presenting at a seminar for teachers. It was my first work trip and first time to another city outside of Ufa. I can't believe I've been here for over 1.5 years and it was my first time to another city in Bashkortostan. I picked the wrong boyfriend because he doesn't have a dacha here. Only kidding... sort of. Anyways, I woke up at 4:45 that morning and was picked up before 6. Thank goodness for Ufa's location because the sun was coming up when I woke up so it made it 10x easier to get my day started.
Before we left we picked up the organizer of our trip at her gigantic house. We drank some coffee and then we were off, but not for long because about 15 minutes into the drive she realized she forgot the certificates so we had to go back. It was a 2.5 hour car ride to Meleuz but it felt so much quicker. During the trip she told us about life under Stalin, and it was so fascinating to listen to. I find Soviet history so interesting, and I try to listen to as many stories as I can about it. Most of my friends are too young to remember living in the Soviet Union so it's rare for someone to share about it. On the drive to Meleuz you get to see the start of the Ural Mountains. I am absolutely in love with mountains so I was day dreaming about having a house there so I could stare at them all the time.
We ended up getting to the seminar late, so we had to start right away. I gave my first 30 minute presentation then Patrick gave his 1.5 hour presentation. We then had an hour lunch break where we ate at a cafe across the street (in the green building). The food was actually good for being cafeteria style. Then we returned with an 1.5 hour presentation by me and a 30 minute presentation by Patrick. Actually, the last presentations were cut short because we were running out of time. My director gave me the wrong information about what this seminar would look like so thank goodness Patrick let me know ahead of time, and I already had a presentation ready. I didn't know until 9 pm the night before what it was going to look like.
After the seminar we went back to the cafe to have a cup of tea - in traditional Russian fashion. Patrick and I were about ready to leave because it was such a long day, but it was nice to talk a little bit longer. Then we went to a market because the woman who organized it wanted potatoes for her garden. I wish I could have gotten more pictures from the city because there were a lot of interesting looking buildings. Unfortunately, I was in the backseat of the car with tinted windows so none of my pictures came out. I did keep the one below because I thought it looked kind of cool with everything blurry except the Ferris wheel.
The ride back to Ufa seemed to take forever. The highway was only one way in each direction so we found ourselves stuck in traffic often. Then it started raining for the last hour or so of the trip. Thankfully, we missed the rain the entire time we were in Meleuz. I finally arrived back at around 8 pm or so. I wish I had more opportunities to go outside of the city. I still haven't been to a dacha or a banya, but I'm hoping to do so before I leave! Fingers crossed.
I am an American expat living in Russia. When I'm not teaching English or trying to master the Russian language I am taking photos of old buildings, graffiti, or abandoned places. Want to know more? Read about it here. You can follow along with my book list here. If you still want more you can follow my bucket list here.