WARNING: there is much of the f-word in this post. If this offends your delicate sensibilities, just skip over all the words that begin with the letter "f."
Adrienne says that everyone who spends any amount of time in Russia will eventually have their very own dead body story. It's official: I saw my first dead body the other day. It was some guy with a smashed-in face lying in an abandoned ambulance while passersby smoked cigarettes indifferently. And, in the distance, dogs were fucking. It was an very "Russian" moment.
Yesterday, we went on a boat excursion/tour of the canals. It was expensive, but worth it. I took a lot of pictures - I've been taking a lot of photos, but just of the random things I see that strike me as particularly Russian. I have a few pictures of wrecked/abandoned cars and some interesting heaps of garbage, but that's pretty much it. During the boat trip, a bunch of drunk Russians were dangling over the bridge and trying to get us to take their pictures. I'd just put my camera away, so I missed out on the photo op. Today we are going to the Kunstkamera (museum of oddities) and then, of course, we will drink beer. I'm getting fat off all this beer. I do so much walking, I work off all the fish heads Larisa feeds me, but the beer is giving me a tummy. Good news though: I think my bladder is stretching out a bit so I don't have to find a bathroom so often (which is a real pain in this country).
Last night, I was up really late talking with Larisa. When I came home around 9, she was really cranky and I couldn't figure out why. She's never been short with me before, but I think it had something to do with the fact that she'd visited her mom's grave earlier.
But I'd decided that yesterday was going to be a good day no matter what, so I went into my room, listened to music, de-TomSellecked, and gave myself a manicure. Ain't NOBODY killing this good mood!!!! An hour or so later I went to tell her good night, and she decided that she wanted me to sit and watch tv with her. She was wearing her dark sunglasses (in a dark room, at 10pm) and I've decided this as a sign that she's been drinking. When her dark glasses are on, she is REALLY friendly. Anyway, we talked for hours about her husband and how he died, and my shitty/crazy boyfriends, and the siege of Leningrad, and Putin, and blah blah blah. Oh, and the angel she gave me for my birthday is supposed to protect me from a broken heart, and is supposed to bring me love. So I hung it over my bed... we'll see if it works!
We went to the Dostoevsky museum yesterday, which is located in the flat that he died in. Across the street is a giant Russian market, which smells awful (like a pair of dirty underwear in 113 degree weather) but was still really interesting. Everywhere you go, women are calling: "Девочка! Девочка!" ("Young lady!") and you get free honey on a stick. The downside is the cow brains on full display at room temperature. Oh, and did I mention the smell?