Monday, 5 November 2012
It's my 69th day here! It's been 5 days since I've actually had a proper day of work. I took 2 days off sick with the worst sore throat I've possibly ever had, and then the last 3 days I haven't really had set work - today Vicky and I have done the washing up twice and peeled potatoes, but that's really not a lot, and certainly 0 mental effort. We've had about 20 people living in our house this weekend rather than the usual three, so it's been quite noisy and hectic, especially at mealtimes. Today I'm happy to go back to the routine 30-odd who I've got to know the names of!
I've mostly been reading Anna Karenina - it got a tad dull for a few chapters with all the rambling about agriculture, but I suppose that part was all very relevant and interesting at the time, and now it's just history. It's picked up a bit now, and after all everyone makes empty promises to themselves to finish great classics of literature, and a year abroad is the perfect time to actually fulfil those promises.
Yesterday we went to see what was going on with part of this weekend-long game. The big round hall on the ground floor of the school had been turned into a fair, with sort-of Russian national stall themes: there was a fortune teller, a matchstick game (vs the 'babushka', the person who picks up the last match wins), a hit-the-nail-in-the-wood game (vs Yura and his hammer), darts, pillow duelling(victor beats their opponent off the bench and onto the crash-mat , a very easy version of basketball with a bin and lots of tennis balls, something involving skipping, and a dancing fool. It was all very jolly and cute, especially to see the kids running the 'stalls' and welcoming the visiting children to have a go at their games. Winning games earned little wooden tokens which could be exchanged for sweets or, if you got 5, a toy at the end. I overcame my initial shyness and tried my hand at darts, the matchstick game, 'guess how many hammers it will take you to get the nail in the wood', and 'basketball'. I also demonstrated the fact that I've never learned to skip, cue plenty of embarrassment and laughter.
By this time in 3 weeks I'll have landed at Heathrow. I'm really looking forward to it, I guess absence really does makes the heart grow fonder. Also I'm looking forward to all the exciting parcels I'll have in the post.
I've spent very little money while here: I've got over £60 of the £200 I brought with me left, and I've spent probably about £175 online. Not all on myself! Some of it is Christmas presents and music pre-orders and Kindle books, so not all selfish, materialistic purchases, and pretty much all the cash here has gone on souvenirs. One doesn't spend much living in a village in the middle of nowhere with only a single shop that sells very little worth buying.
That's all for now :)