Monday, 25 February 2013

Lie down. Try not to cry. Cry a lot.

I feel awful. If you're a prospective year abroad student reading this please don't be afraid to feel awful on your first day, trust me it gets better. All the good bits make it worth sticking out the moments when you feel like your whole being is screaming to go home. Why wouldn't it feel awful? 1311 miles from home, it's freezing cold and the streets are covered in ice (nearly fell over 3 times today), everyone I meet is new to me and therefore a potential friend but that requires me to be friendly and make a good impression which is pretty impossible when you're tired as hell and haven't eaten more than a cheese croissant since dinner the previous evening.

I slept really well, but waking up at 07.45 (that's 03.45 UK time) in the pitch-dark was hard. Then I tried to dress quickly so I'd have time for breakfast, but it turned out Denis was waiting to get going to show me the way to class by 08.15 so that had to be skipped. It was a brief walk to the bus stop, then about 10 mins on the bus to Gostiny Dvor, and then another short walk to school. Piter looks pretty gorgeous in the early-morning darkness. Once I got to Liden & Denz I was sat down in front of a test that was supposed to be 25 minutes but I easily took 40 over it without the receptionist noticing. It was way too long to do in 25, can't believe anyone would manage it. Then I waited a short while before being ushered into another room where two teachers sort of interviewed me and two other guys. I didn't realise until afterwards that it was a speaking test.

I got streamed into the 5th class (whatever that means) which already had two boys from Bristol Uni in it. They've been here for 3 weeks, and one assured me that I'll get the hang of it soon and the weeks will fly by. The deal is we have 1 hour 40 mins of grammar and the same amount of speaking/topic-related learning a day, with a 10-minute break each hour. So I start class at 10 am and finish at 2 pm with homework due the next day. Then at 2.30 it's off to work round the corner at the Swedish House of Travel where I'm interning as Social Media Content Assistant for Liden & Denz.

When we arrived the boss guy Walter Denz had a chat to me on my own, told me what my job is. When he asked "Any questions?" I pretty much said 'Can you tell me all of that again, in a handy email form? That was too much to take in and remember'. Deal is that I create and post content on all their social networking profiles: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, VKontakte and YouTube (though it seems I'm not expected to make videos). Today I managed to bring my laptop and charger but no plug converter so once lappy ran out of juice I was just brainstorming in my notepad. All I was expected to do this afternoon was have a look and see what the state of affairs is (pretty uncoordinated and messy) and come up with some ideas for things to do with the mess.

At 6 the other intern packed up to go, so I asked if I could leave and then followed suit. I went to Subway because I needed something familiar and filling, then decided to walk home down Sadovaya Street and get some exercise. I managed to buy a SIM card, some cereal and fruit (to prevent scurvy) including a pomelo (mmm... pomelo), and to find a currency exchange which I was too tired to face so just wandered out looking confused.

Finally got home about 8, and intend to do not a lot with my evening once I've completed my homework.
Hope I get the hang of this soon.
'Till tomorrow/Do zavtra!

1 comment:

  1. Oh you're back in Russia! St Petersburg already sounds really different to Orion. I hope you're settling in now and not missing home too much. :)


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