Hanging around (cue “The Stranglers”)

(Saturday 1st October 2011, written same day)
It has been a funny day so far. It’s Saturday, so my landlady got up late. (Good for her). I’d already helped myself to watermelon and tea, but she asked me if I wanted breakfast. I said yes. Breakfast became:
  • Watermelon and black tea
  • Porridge,
  • Smoked eels,
  • Spaghetti bolognese (yes, you have just read that!) and
  • Chocolate cake.
My landlady and her boyfriend invited me on trip to “The Forest” this afternoon/evening. Naturally, I said yes. I hope I understood correctly. I’m waiting for the trip to start now (17:30). I had planned to go on a walking tour of “Historic Novosibirsk” in the afternoon, but after a text from me, and a phonecall from the landlady, I hope that has been cancelled successfully.
After breakfast, I went into the city. I had a number of objectives and met with mixed success:
  • Trip to the cash machine – Successful
  • Trip to a sports shop. I want to buy someone a “Novosibirsk (ice) hockey jersey”. – Unsuccessful. Conversation went ok (broken Russian meets broken English), but this particular shop only sells Nike gear. They understood what I wanted, but didn’t know where I could buy one.
  • Trip to shop to buy “Teachers’ Day” cards – Success. They understood what I wanted, and pointed me to the display.
  • Trip to another shop (more of a stall) to buy fridge magnets as presents – Success. How do you translate “Fridge Magnet”? I used Russian for “Fridge” plus the English “Magnet”, plus some pointing. It worked anyway.
Pretty good score.
Regarding “Teachers’ Day”: The first Sunday in October (today) is “Teachers’ Day” in Russia. This is a carry-over from the Soviet Union. Tomorrow the kids bring their teachers (the ones they like, anyway) cards and flowers. I’ve bought one of the cards. With a little help from Google I translated the verse. It could be described as “Gushing and syrupy”. Typical greetings card!

While in the centre of the City, it was a little quieter than it is during the week, so I took some pictures:
  • North up Krasny Prospect
  • North-West along Station Highway (you can see “Novosibirsk Main” station, on the Trans-Siberian at the end)
  • Here’s a plaque commemorating the original tram-line in what is now Lenin Square.
I wandered home and settled down to the homework. This is a grammar test. I’ve struggled through a little over half of it. I’ve been using the books I have, and my notes and I still find it quite hard. It’s all part of the learning experience.
At various times, the Landlady and her boyfriend, and her son have been in and out of the flat. It feels like something is going to happen, but nothing has actually happened yet.
Beautiful early evening here. I’m waiting for something to happen. I was offered a bowl of small, sweet, black, seedless grapes. I’ve eaten them, very nice. Meanwhile, a little later, I was eating a pear and the Alsation started looking at me and drooling. Hoping it was the pear she wanted, I gave her the core. Gone! Just like that. An Alsation that likes pear cores (and apples, come to think of it). Well I never!
Something happened about the trip. I guess plans change. I got on with my homework, which I found quite hard, and I’ve got most of it done.
Early to bed.

(Blog Post updated to include pictures directly, rather than as links. 17th November 2015)

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