This is Russia? 2/2

 

.. Then to another, maybe more exiting part of our trip.

After Rostov and Taganrog we had to say goodbye to Monica and Wojtek. They traveled to Ukraine because their visa expired. We, others, continued our trip to the Krasnodar. This city was also little smaller with population less than million people. Trip went fast, 3 hours by elektritska. Time was spent playing Svintus:

Voittoja sateli koko matkan(suomeksi ettei ne ymmärrä) !

We arrived to Krasnodar. First thing we needed to do, was to find place with WiFi and buy the tickets back to Moscow. First two places that we tried, didn’t had it. We were kind of desperate to find it, because we needed to contact our couch_surfing_host. So we tried this really nice looking place called Espanola and tried to go in. First step: “Do you have WiFi?” “Yes” Great – Second step “Maladoi chelovek, dres coud”. So no, we didn’t get into a fancy restaurant with shorts and backpack, wonder why 😀

We found Wifi and our host, which was a little older guy from Britain. He had lived in Russia six years already. There was some problems with the tickets back and we had to take tickets for Monday morning 04:00 am.

Anyways, Krasnodar was the coolest town for me. The main street was full of people, music was playing all the time, trees were really filling the streets. For me it seemed that there is also very active nightlife. There was these small outdoor clubs and bars by the river also, really liked those.

 

The music that was playing on the streets was actually dance music 😀

 

These boulevards were just amazing. It’s not a surprise that Russians like to “guljat” (= “kuljailla/ulkoilla” = walk outdoors). It’s really common in here to just take walks and spend time in the parks.

 

Then we(girls) navigated to the riverside and we had some traditional(?) beer which was bottles in these 1,5 liter bottles.

 

Next place to visit was Mezmaj, which was a village in the middle of mountains. First we had to travel from Krasnodar to Majkop by train and from Majkop we took a very traditional Russian taxi to a place near Mezmaj.

Volga-taxi

After moving with taxi we had to travel through canyons to get to the village. There was this Russian info board which said “6km”, but we walked like 3 hours so I’m pretty sure it was a lot more. I didn’t mind though, coz the view was awesome.

We could have taken the train but decided to walk. Train would have taken us about five first kilometers, after that the rails were under some kind of a construction.

 

When we got to the village it felt like going back a couple of years. Houses looked primitive, we saw couple of cars there and one shop – thank god. We managed to find a guest house there fortunately. The owner was nice old lady with full gold teeth. She got us some milk straight from the cow(I hope) for us. On the first night we had some beers on a little bridge in a complete silence. Only one Lada which some guys were cruising with disturbed the silence.

I thought this picture is enough of the toilet – trust me you don’t want to see the hole in the ground. 😉

Aaand then back to Moscow with a tired but happy face. Normidaageni

HEIPPA ! : DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

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This is Russia? 1/2

 

TERVE !

After my guests leaved Moscow, I got on a train which was going to the city called Rostov-na-Donu. Four of my friends already travelled in the south in some other city and we planned to meet in Rostov. Monica and Wojtek had to leave Russia after couple of days because of the visa problems so we had only couple of days left with them.

So, I started my “all by myself” 17 hours train trip to the dangerous south part of Russia. Actually, I didn’t have a clue about this city that I was traveling to. Only that there is 1,5 million people, so pretty small compared to where I’m living now.

Train trip was cool ! I met three Russians, about my age. They didn’t spoke English so I was trying to keep up with them. There were two guys and one girl. It was really nice, because if I didn’t understand something that they were talking about, they really tried to do everything to make me understand. When I have met new people here in Russia, the start of the conversation is of course always easier when we talk about the basic stuff. If the topic is unfamiliar to me, the most important thing is that the other speaker really tries to explain things with easy words and like “through the easier way”. Easiest exercise is when you can start to speak with the person which you don’t know at all – conversation can start of the basic things and you don’t have to be scared that you don’t speak correctly, so you don’t feel the tension. Of course beer always helps also, as you can see on the picture above. One guys got some beer for us at one stop from the shop. It is okay here to drink in the train. I was little confused in the restaurant car when I ordered a beer and waiter asked me that “Will you drink here or take it with you?” 😀

At the morning when I woke up from my extraordinarily comfy bed, we had arrived in Rostov. Weather was amazing(ly hot)! After I got of the train I was little surprised. First of all, the railway station was amazing, cooler than the one that I had left from the Moscow. I was pretty hungry, so I ordered this chicken roll from some kiosk. I was little afraid that what my stomach would say about that because it was “local food”, but it was gooood 🙂

After I took an overpriced(400 rubles) taxi I got to the hostel where I was going to spend couple of nights in Rostov. I said overpriced because later I heard from the guys that “The taxi is so cheap in here, we paid only 130 rubles..” I was like yeeeea, me too!

So I found my hostel and these guys came there. Hostel Teremok was in the center of Rostov, it was brand new and cost 550 rubles(13€)/night. Everything was new and clean, staff was very nice and helpful. http://booking.com/59eaecc66cb804

 

Rostov is really clean and beautiful city. We found beautiful parks, boulevards, monuments and fountains. The river called Don flows next to city. You can also spot the name of the river on the name of the town “Rostov-na-Donu”. 😉

“Monica the animal lover”:D We went to the zoo which was supposed to be the biggest zoo in Russia. Well there was a lot of interesting animals, but the environment of animals was really poor. For example one tiger was in a small cage with only concrete floor. There was also bigger and better enclosures with only fences, but they kept there only like “not so dangerous animals” like goats and camels etc.

Magda and Kasia where bicycling while we were at the zoo with Wojtek and Monica. They had a nice trip around the city with one little mistake. Kasia forgot Magda’s bag on the bench while some break. When they got back to find the bag, it was of course gone. Unfortunately girls passports were in the bag. Situation was pretty bad because we were faraway from home. So next step – Russian Police station. To be honest, I was feeling the excitement when we entered in the police station.

 

We entered the police station and girls started to tell the story to the police. Wojtek’s first question to the police was “Where is the bathroom”…  It seemed like we would have to spend a lot of time there, fill up papers and get interviewed. Anyways, the police was actually really nice and even fun! Very helpful and active. Then after 10 minutes a guy walked in the police station and presented the bag to the police and said that “I found this on a bench this afternoon” We turned around and watched that you gotta be f***ing kidding me 😀 It was the bag! And nothing was missing(well, except the cash of course) ! We had some luck there. After that we got some beers with new friends Maksim, Alex and Alexey. I chose this picture because it shows the real atmosphere of this evening.

 

Next day was The Victory Day 9.5. There in Rostov was a lot of people in the streets. Parade wasn’t here as cool as in Moscow I think, but the atmosphere was amazing when streets were full of people.

 

Some random church and river Don.

We made a one day trip from Rostov to a smaller city called Taganrog with population of 300 000.

 

Russian writer Anton Tšehov spend his youth here and his monuments were everywhere. We visited a couple of museums and on the right you can see the home of  Tšehov.

 

 

Then we went to relax by the Sea of Azov which is located on the north side of the black sea.

 

BYEBYE WOJTEK AND MONICA AND HOPE YOU HAD A HAPPY UKRAINE ! We’ll keep in touch.

 

New cities and problems on next post (eli topekontinue) ! 🙂

Kattellaha !

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Parks and Byes

 

Waddap!

It has been three weeks since my last post, but I got my reasons – I was traveling a little bit around in south of Russia. I’m gonna write about it on the next post, but let’s focus now on the time before that – here in Moscow.

Polish guys had been wrestling with their visa problems for a while. They were now ready to travel back to Poland or some other country to make new visas with their own money. So they needed new visas because their old ones couldn’t be continued because of a mistake that this university performed. And for that, they needed to travel out of Russia, get new invitation(from Russia) for student visa, apply for visa, get new visa and travel back to Russia.

So because of these problems, as I already told you, our courses were shorten – Polish guys already finished all their courses. When the day came here in Russia that they were supposed to get the new invitation for student visa, the answer was – “You have already finished your courses, so we are not going to give you an invitation for studying.” Even that everything was settled beforehand with those people.. the Polish were so angry after that, but there was really nothing that they could do anymore.

So they really had to leave back to home a little early, but we still had couple of weeks left.

 

 

We had this amazing barbecue which was prepared by these guys in the pictures above. I arrived a little late of course, so everything was ready when I got there:)  There was meat and salad etc. to eat, Vodka and beer to drink. This park is located at Vykhino near to our university. Andrej presented some skills with his guitar. Bye bye Szymon and Marta we will keep in touch!

 

Next day we went to an other park called Царицыно(Tsaritsyno) with Marika, Nelly, Virpi and her sister. This is one of the nicest (if not the nicest) park in Moscow. Two weeks ago weather was sunny, but there wasn’t still any leaves on trees.

And at night we went to a small “club” called Club Gogol’. It was actually a big tent which was set between two big building in the center of Moscow. It is pretty easy to find good places nowadays from big cities because of Google maps and Yandex – just type “clubs” on search.

 

I had some guests also.

My father and sister arrived in Moscow two weeks ago and they spent a weekend here.

 

Unfortunately the Red Square was closed this weekend because soldiers were practicing for the 9th of May, The Victory day. No worries, here is also some other things to see 😀 Pictures above you can see Red Square main entrance and Bolshoi Theater. You can see Russia’s finest ballet and opera performances in Bolshoi. And if you are not into that – the building is so beautiful inside that you can just go there to see the building. Of course tickets are hard to get and you have to book those months before. They had this cool thing for students though. If you(as a student) go there around 6 am and but your name in some list, you can get the ticket to the show at the same day(student price). That is the way they fill up canceled seats. For clearance – we didn’t went to see opera or ballet on that day.

 

Me and my sister of course like ice cream, so we went to get one of those from the GUM. On the right you can see a picture of famous and traditional market place in Izmailovo. From there you can find all the same products (handmade, traditional etc.) that you can find from the center of Moscow – only difference is that the prize is cheaper. So don’t buy any collector’s items or souvenirs from Arbat, buy those from here.

 

Before I left on my little trip to the south, the weather wasn’t so warm at that point and the trees were just starting to grow up their leaves. In 10 days here  in Moscow happened some nice changes when I was gone. Next time(which will be sooner) I will tell you about this trip to the “dangerous South of Russia” 😉

 

BYE BYE !

PS: guess who

 …tip -> Marika forced me 😀

 

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Nightlife – off the dormitory

 

Long time no see !

 

Sun started to shine, and last Friday the temperature already touched +27 °C according to the weather forecast. I have now completed all of my courses, except Russian is still going on. So it’s starting to really feel like a holiday.

Let’s check where we have been hanging around at the evenings except the dormitory..

Станция метро Кузнецкий Мост, Subway station Kuznetsky Most, Metroasema Kuznetsky Most, En kiusallanikaa kirjoota ruottiksi.

Here is Kuznetsky Most -street. Here you can find some bars etc. There is also one good Jolki-Palki “Ёлки-Палки” -restaurant where you can find traditional Russian food. The street is located next to Bolshoi theater.

You can also find this famous shopping center ЦУМ “TSUM” from the  Kuznetsky Most.

And in front of the TSUM you can find this Камчатка -bar, which is traditional Russian bar. Small, crowded place, where you can buy beer, vodka and also some food like sausages etc. – which was strange to me.

If there is a red light – Marta wants to go there. Maybe it was because she was in Amsterdam. This time our group decided to check out this alley. We were really hopeful with Massis(guy), but it was just an original bar called  “My Bar”. Massis is Nelly’s boyfriend from France and he was visiting Moscow.

 

This place(My Bar) was underground with two floors. Bartender spoke also France for some reason 😀 And we met a couple of “lads” from England who came here to teach some English for the Russians. They didn’t talk too much with us though, except one of them who was so drunk that he started the same story third time, so we decided to leave them alone. “Generally” the atmosphere in the bar was great!

 

Now I have to also tell you about THE TEQUILA BAR!

So this place is also at  Kuznetsky Most and I must say that tequila here was awesome! (and so expensive that I don’t even remember) Here Nelly took her first tequila ever and I think she liked it.. because she had another one.. then we said to her that “that is enough for you” 😀

There in Tequila bar we met students from the other university(MGU). There was Mexicans and French. They said that there is also one Finnish guy at their university, but he wasn’t here at this night.

So, I met this Mexican PACO. And the reason that I couldn’t keep my self together for this photo was because Paco’s roommate has teach some important Finnish words to him.. So all that he was saying to me first (really loudly) was V****, S******, P****** and KIMIII RAIKKONNNEEEN. 😀 He said that he really loves Raikkonen and that he is Paco’s favorite F1 driver.

Last Friday we were at the “Club Известия Hall”. At that night there was happening “ZD AWARDS 2013”. It was an event for new music in Russia and they were rewarding the most successful Russian artists. Event went live on TV, so maybe now we are famous..

 

Ticket cost something like 1000 rubles(25€).  Beer(Corona) was 6€ and drinks about 10€, so drinking was expensive.

 

OF COURSE THERE WAS DIMA BILAN AND GIRLS WENT CRAZY 😀

 

And I think everyone remembers this(left) “Buranovskiye Babushki – Party For Everybody” from the Eurovision 2012. On the right there is this most Russian looking guy that I have ever seen, still don’t remember his name. + He sure can choose well his backup dancers.

This year Dina Garipova will represent Russia at the 2013 Eurovision in Malmo. She presented her song “What if” at the ZD awards and she has an amazing voice. She won the Voice of Russia song contest. You can check her out from here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ-IRxAdGBw

 

I will end my nightly post with a nightly picture of  the Moskva River.

Time goes so fast here. Till next time, pakaa !

 

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Chilling, Killing

 

Здорова!

The spring is finally coming, temperature is “+” and three(3/6) of my courses already ended! 😀 So rest of the exchange is going to be only Russian language studies and one small course of “Risk, natural and technological disasters”; course that really wasn’t what I expected. But we are now happy here that we can really focus on Russian language and free time!

Anyways, about these three economics courses that are ending now. I got good basic knowledge of world economy, international markets and international finance. Teaching, when it happened, was good. The teacher was also really nice, but she was late a lot from the classes and also after the breaks. She had her reasons that she has so many others things to do at the same time. Which I understand, because those courses were put into a “smaller space” meaning that our 4 month lasting course was done after 2 months with about same hours.

Next here is some picture’s of last two weeks.

 

We have spent some time at the dormitory just meeting new people and throwing some little parties. This is really important for my development of speaking Russian, if you know what I mean 😉 On the left is a Poker Tournament which W and M won after W won my kings full of aces with fours aces..congratulations! On the right Andrei made us some blins.

 

It is so easy to live in the dormitory because if you want to see someone, you just walk to next door, or worst case scenario go couple of floors up/down. Metro is also next to dormitory and it takes about 25 minutes to Red Square.

 

M’s friend Ida was Moscow a couple of days and we went to see Петя и волк (Pekka ja susi) kids musical (In Russian) because that was some thing from M’s school. First hour was really interesting to hear different instruments and try to keep up with the story . Then it didn’t stop and went on for another hour.. Just toooo much. 😀

 

Our Russian teacher took us to this museum: “The Glinka Museum of Musical Culture”. Nice to see – not so interesting for me really. We just looked at different glass boxes full of different instruments and listened how they sounded like.There was some interesting details from history though. If you are studying music or interested of old instruments, maybe then this is the place to visit in Moscow.

 

 

I’m starting to feel that N has some obsession with these religious things, so she wanted to visit this Danilovsky monastery(Даниловский монастырь). First picture above is from Тульская -metro station near to Danilovsky. As you can see The Sun Is Shining !

 

 

Here you can see the Monastery on the left and some headquarter on the right where we couldn’t get in. We thought that there was some big meeting going on because all the expensive black cars outside, so we didn’t wanted to ruin their party.

 

 

M’s father came to visit Moscow with wife and kids. Here on the left is a picture of Tverskaya -street, the main street of Moscow. They rented an apartment from here for four days. On the right we are eating some Georgian food which made me feel like home! Mashed potatoes and meet sauce 🙂 PERNAA JA LIHASOOSSIA !

    

View from Arbat -street to the “ministry for foreign affairs”. This is one of the coolest streets in Moscow – Narrow street with lots of shops, cafes, restaurants,bars, museum etc. Second picture if from the metro station Smolenskaya(Смоленская) – steepest escalators I have experienced so far. These both are located at the west end of Arbat, like McDonald’s ! 😉

 

Let’s end this post with a picture which tells one thing that I’m going to write next – Nightlife in Moscow(with Paco from Mexico who loves Kimi Raikkoneeeeen)..

 

HEI HEI !

 

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Navigating and Skating

 

Morjensta Morjens !

Yea let’s continue – after the ice skating we went to a gallery galled “The Best Of Russia”. There was some nice pictures of Russia. You can see my favorite one below, censured by A. The girl didn’t like Putin so much so that’s why they are taking her away.

And there was also this great picture about a nasty little mutant who I don’t want to meet..

 

Last week’s Monday we decided to cancel our Russian classes and go to ice skating before the ice melts down. This time the Gorky Park was closed so we went to another one that had just a big circle and great music. The Chinese girls were with us also and this was their first time on ice 😀

Picture from the lobby of our student hostel.

On our way in metro.

Some of us got a little cold so we had some coffee first.

I think that this was the first time for N(The Frenchie) too. 😀 Is there any ice in Paris !?

Everyone survived, I think !? And learned to skate!

After this we went to McDonald’s and it was sweeeeet! It started to be late and here, we can’t buy vodka from the store after 11:00 pm. Thank god there was still some time ! The German boys leaved little earlier to get us some Parlament Vodka. Me, S(Polish_he) and Mr(Polish_she) escorted N home. She invited us in to have some tea and to look at her dead fishes in the aquarium 😀 She first though that the fishes might just play and swim on their backs, but no, that doesn’t happen 😀 Then Me, S and Mr left back and I joined The Germans and the Vodka. We made the world a little bit better at that night I think. : D

 

Then we were at the space museum Мемориальный Музей Космонавтики with M, W and Mon. It was more interesting from the outside I think 😀 But yes, it was interesting to see that what kind of things Russians had use to get in the space and actually see how much space there was at the first space stations. spacespacespace.. We also saw the space dogs Belka and Strelka – stuffed unfortunately.

 

Gagarin da man on the left !

 

The spring is also coming or something.. fuuuuu

 

Last weekend we had the “Maslinitsa”(=Laskiainen). On Saturday We first went with M to “Moskva citi”.

After that we went to the Gorky Park. We watched some maybe traditional band that was playing there and then decided to ice skate a little bit because this park is so nice at the evening. M showed me some moves. She had practiced figure skating before. Now I can do the pirouette ! 😀

 

 

After that I walked M home and headed to this little nightclub that couple of my Polish friends already were waiting. There was a birthday party of Mag’s friend. I sat down the metro and watched my phone.. this HTC piece of sh*t – battery 3% left. I learned W’s phone number so if there would be an emergency(I couldn’t ask the direction to the nightclub) I maybe could call him from somewhere. So the metro trip took about 40 minutes. Mag had only told me before that “call me when you get to the station and I will give you directions, it is only 10 minutes walk from the metro”. I stepped out of the metro, called Mag – battery completely dead…. Well that was interesting, how to find the place exactly..

So, I got off the metro station(Рязанский Проспект). My first though was that maybe I will just try to ask from some store if they would have a charger. It was already almost 00:00 so there wasn’t many shops open. Only some supermarkets and fast food restaurants. The place where I were, was also completely new for me. Well, I found this “electronic goods store”. There was a sign on the door “zakrito”(=closed), but there was a man inside behind the desk. I knocked the door – this man only showed me  with his hands a “cross” signal to tell me that he wasn’t so interested. 😀

Then I walked in to a Subway restaurant and asked the seller if they would have a charger. (in Russian of course) They didn’t but I asked if he could loan his telephone for a second. I called W, who also was there, but he couldn’t really hear me too well. We agreed that he will send me the directions in this guys phone right away. So I was waiting at the desk.. a couple of minutes went by and I told the seller that if there’s no message in one minute, I’ll leave. After 30 second Mag calls to that phone and I finally got my directions !!!

So I started to walk with Mag’s directions which were really good. I found the bar very soon and on my way gave 10 rubles to some drunk man who said me that he needed to buy MILK 😀 The excuse was so good that I couldn’t refuse 😀 I found this “Бар Соло”(=Bar Solo, like in Jyväskylä). I went in, there was a doorman waiting for me alone in a very nice, expensive looking lobby. I was a little confused and asked “eta bar solo?” he answered “da”. Then he asked me In Russian that are you with the birthday group and well yesssssh! We walked with the doorman behind the corner were was elevator and some crabs hanging around in the aquarium.

Now I get to the elevator with this guy and I though that after the elevator door opens, there is going to be even the party or an Igor from Mafia with a baseball bat.

 

 

 

Well thank god, there was a party or the PARTTII 😀 The deal was that everyone will pay 1500 rubles(38€) for our table and we could drink and eat for that amount. The insurance to the bar, as I wrote it on an earlier post. I think the amount was enough.

We left from the bar after 04:00 am and took a taxi home Russian style(hitchhiked a random car). It was good and cheap 😀

Thank you all for the great night and happy birthday for the birthday boy R !

 

Then on Sunday to Maslinitsa celebration which was organized by the place where M’s works here in Moscow(I still have no idea where we were).. So there was teachers, kids and the puppet theater -show. My head didn’t hurt so much at first, but after hour of screaming puppets the feeling in my head was.. weird 😀

After the puppets we went to eat with friends of M. Also visited at a small market nearby and bought some Russian candies. I eat those already so can’t put a picture 🙁

Aaand after this one M’s friend Virbeli told us that there was a market(below) near the Red Square at Vasiljevskij Spusk and we decided to check it out also.

 

Well there wasn’t any market 😀 So we went to the GUM to have the last blins(=pancakes) and coffee before Maslinitsa ended. After this Orthodox start fasting(=paasto) for 49 days. But I don’t ! 😉

 

I have liked Russia really much these couple of weeks, except that our school’s international office is strange and not helpful for some of my colleagues with visa problems..

Thanks for reading !

счастливо !

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From Boredomness to Awesomeness

 

Hello you old and new friends !

There has been a “slight” problems with the Internet connection at the dormitory so having a little delay with writing the blog. In this case “slight” = No Internet for one week so far.

Anyways ! Two weeks ago I got the feeling that wtf is this university where I had come. I felt like nothing special was happening, not so many new people who wanted to discover same things as I, no parties. Even that I had spend here 3 weeks already at that point. So I felt pretty disappointed. I have always needed friends around me, never couldn’t play alone, you know. 😀

So first not so awesome, but let’s start with few photo’s of how Moscow changes when you travel away from the center. I had a meeting at Domodedovo; 50 km from Moscow city center. The train left from one of the Moscow’s train stations – Paveletskiy vokzal and I left off at Barybino vokzal.

So as you can see, like traveling from Seinäjoki to Parkano.

 

Now let’s dive to the Awesomeness !! Last week was like a Russian person would say “SUPER” or how he/she really would say it “SJUPJER”

First let’s start on Sunday(24.2.). M’s mother’s husband had a birthday party! So there was some good Russian food and of course some wine. All of the people were so great and I tried to speak in Russian as much as I could. M’s mom’s friend and her husband talked perfect English tough(thank god:D).

 

The whiskey(The Singleton) was also great! Later there was also some karaoke. I also had to sing….(In English) 😀

Tip: Happy Birthday = с днём рождения (s djom rasdenija)

 

We were talking with N(girl from Paris, that I told on my previous post) that we have to go to go see something at the center. I said to her that everything is okay for me and let her decide. Well.. she wanted to go to the cemetery First I was like whaaad, but hey, I let her decide. Okay I was kidding a little bit, it can be a nice place? The cemetary.. in Russia.. So last Tuesday, we went to the Novodevichy cemetary. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novodevichy_Cemetery)

The cemetery was really impressive and little spooky at the same time. I think it’s nice how this country respect their own great people like this. This place is totally worth visiting if you travel to Moscow.


Pakollinen pankkipose tähän välii.

M’s friend came to visit her in Moscow. Friday we went to the AfiMall shopping center located at “Moskva citi” and had some chocolate drinks namnam. The LED-fountain was awesome 😀 You can check it from here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKzVyJVR5b0

 

 

Thursday(28.2.) I was going second time to the “World Economy” class. I was a little late and entered the class room. For my surprise there was three new faces there. Polish faces 😀 They were new exchange students that had arrived here about a week ago. I was like “yeaaaaSSSHHH” because it was about time to get more people in here who wanted to experience some Moscow ! They were again “SUPER” and we had same like desires and made some plans right away. So they really made my day and I got the feeling that now the exchange period is gonna start, if you know what I mean.. 😀

So, right away on next Friday(1.3.) we got out from dormitory and went to find some bars. We searched (in the weather you can see above) about an hour a bar where one of the Polish girl’s friend was. I didn’t mind about the weather though, there was two people navigating in the front, and three of us behind them talking about Moscow and vampires etc. 😀 Finally we found the bar and there was more new people there to get to know from Poland, Kazakhstan and of course Russia. The bar was cool, it was little like a mix of “Shaker” at Jyväskylä and “Palaveri” at Seinäjoki. If you wanted to have a table from this bar, it cost 1000 rubles(25€) per person, but you can drink “free” till that 1000 rubles. So the payment is like an insurance to the bar that you don’t just come to sit there. After this we checked one traditional Russian bar and N from France also joined us. That was like some kiosk with couple of tall tables and a bar to order beer, vodka and some traditional food.

Then we left home. The Kazakh girl A promised to cook for all of us on the next day at the dormitory.

So Saturday we went to eat in her apartment at the dormitory. This girl A had made very delicious traditional Kazakh food. There was people from Poland, Kazakhstan, Germany, Russia and ME from THE FINLAND 😀 Anyway, I like everyone and this is a niiice feeling now compared to that week before “wtf am I doing here” 😀

After eating, we changed to the party room, or how W from Poland would say “PARTTI ROOM” 😀

 

The next day we went to ICE SKATING witch is a good replacer for surfing(saying hello to all the exchange students in south)

 

 

This Gorky Park has the Europe’s biggest ice-rink. When skating around the park there was some stands, restaurants, bars etc. I loved it yes, even that they gave me the hipster skates as you can see from the pictures.. There was some music playing all the time 🙂 You can check out this video from youtube to get a better view of the park: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J441wfY8Les

As you can see from the video, next time we are going at the _evening_ definitely!

 

Well yeaaah! There was some happenings from the week before this one. Next time I’m gonna write what happened after that skating and about this week 😉

Here is a picture to end this post:

 

Stay Tuned, Thanks for reading !

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What-A-Mess

 

Доброе день !

As you can see from the headline, this week has been a little messy. By saying that, I mean mostly the way this university is handling our(exchange student’s) schedules. Everything has been just so disorganized. Last Friday(15.2.) I was in the situation that I knew 4 of my 6 courses. It is a little strange because I sent my first selections of offered courses in October last year. After that, the university sent me a new stripped list which to choose again these 6 courses. That I sent back at the end of December..

Also my information about the courses and the schedules is coming kind of randomly. My first lesson was, as I told you in a previous post, “Russian language for exchange students”. The teacher called me a day before and said that “you have a Russian language lesson tomorrow at class *** etc.” Then after the lesson we agreed our schedule with the teacher. This French girl N told me that they had told her from the “international office” that we should get our schedules today after this lesson. Well it was nice to know, nobody told me.. 😀 N had got the information because she had been there for some other issue. Chinese girls had also no idea. We got to the office and got our schedules.. For me they had schedule of four(4/6) courses and it wasn’t complete. It was missing classrooms and else..

Last Friday at 11:00 am. I just got to my room because I spent a night at M’s place after the Valentine’s day. 11:15 am I went to bed because I was pretty tired and thought to take a little nap. 11:20 am N calls me that they had called her from the international office that “our next lecture starts at 12:00 pm”. Well, I was like okay, there’s no hurry for me though our schedules said 13:34 pm.. N doesn’t live at the hostel so she had to travel a little by metro. Then 11:25 am they called me: “Anssi, your next lecture starts at 11:35 am”. I was like(thinking) “are you fu**ing kidding me”.. I told that N called me and said it would start at 12:00 pm, but they said: “No, 11:35 am”.. Anyway, I had ten minutes to get there 😀 N had told me before that the auditory would be number 35, now international office told me that it is number 17.

So I got there first. Totally new building, class numbers started from 100, had no idea where this 17(or 35) would be. It was time to speak some Russian. I asked the directions from a young lady: “Девушка, извините, вы знаете где находится аудитория семнадцать?” = “Young lady, sorry, do you know where is the auditory seventeen?” She pointed to the stairs and said something pretty fast. I picked up words направа, вниз, налево = to the right, down, to the left. I found it.

Well, guess what !? It was locked and so was this other auditory 35.. I finally got the right information from some old lady downstairs which the teacher had told where to guide us 😀

Anyway, everything hasn’t been flawless, but I got the feeling that everything is going to arrange one way or another. We are getting there !

 

Here is some pictures of the university. The school’s facilities are gooood.

The Main Study Building

The Sport Center was very nice – you can train basketball, ice hockey, volleyball etc.

..but the Gym was like Rocky-Gym(räkälä) at Seinäjoki, but much worse 😀

Flags are coooool, right? 😀

 

Okey then I’m going to show you some pictures from the Russian traffic(not from the center):

   

Here is some basic thing going on I think. 😀 Here if you have a traffic accident even like a small one, you have to leave those cars exactly way they were after the crash or the insurance company doesn’t have to cover it. (or that’s what I heard) The problem comes when they leave those cars in the middle of the crossroads.

 

This is the “Only In Russia” part what I was talking about last time 😀 This tractor’s wheel felt off and hit a corner of a stand.. Thank god it didn’t hit anyone. Normal day I would say 😀

 

Then of course the Valentine’s day came and we went to eat with M!

We walked about 40 minutes on the main street of Moscow “Tverskaya” after we found this not so super fancy, but traditional Russian place called “Ёлки-Палки” = Jolki Palki. Food was ok, traditional 😀 That picture above is from the Belorusskaya metro station.

 

Here it was ! I try to write again soon ! Next I will write and post pictures about the center and show how the view changes when you travel 50 km away from the center.

 


Life, has, changed

 

Здравствуйте!

Let’s star about where we left off. Weekend was over and the first dark Monday morning arrives. We had been agreed with the university that I’d be there at ten. I woke up at M’s place about 07:00 am. It was 05:00 am Finnish time and yes, there was some jet lag still in the air. We ate and she left to work at the same time to her school. The trip from there to my university takes 10 minutes walk + 40 minutes by metro.

So I left. It wasn’t so fun at the metro with that suitcase. Fortunately, I had bought my metro ticket at Sunday already so I didn’t had to worry about that.

There was also some others at the metro. My university is located in  Выхино(Vykhino), 20 minutes from center by metro. First sight of Выхино was a little surprising. First there was pretty messed up looking buildings and some graffiti wall. I wasn’t any more at the center of the Moscow city. Then we stopped and I walked off from the small but crowded metro station.

“The instruction for the foreign students” -paper says: “The highest ones – our residences. You need to go to the Main educational building which is located on the right side and go to the 2nd floor, room У 239.” Well, the Main educational building isn’t neither of these buildings that you can see in the photo above. It was a smaller building behind those. The asking was pretty hard because surprise surprise, I don’t know the word “Main educational building” in Russian and the guards only spoked Russian (of course). There was nobody waiting for me at the gate or anything and this “student city” inside the gates is a pretty much bigger than my school area in Finland.

Well, I finally found some place that they advised me forward. All the people there were really nice even that I didn’t understand even a half that they talked among themselves. For me they talked slowly and with “easy words” if there is any in Russian language. First 1.5 hours was только по-русски(only in Russian).. Then this pretty good English speaking girl named D comes along. The H-E-A-V-E-N (because of the English language dummies!). Now it was “little pit” easier to get all the official things done. There was pretty much paper work and I had to deliver some certificates to all over the “student city”.

Now the most of the paper work was done and it was time for me to have a key in my room. This was an interesting procedure. There was this guy Y who was willing to show me how I could get my own key done. He was a student here and he had been studying in Scotland also so his English was good. We got the master key for the room first. Left the student city and crossed the street to get to the рынок(market). There we found some old lady from the “corner shop” and Y gave her the key and said to me that “pay 100 rubles”. I paid and this lady made me a copy of the key. So now, I have a key 😀

Now it was time to enter to the student hostel number 2 which was straight from the Soviet Union I think. I opened the door to my floor 13. One door was open and the music filled the hallway. Now you MUST put this track on and then open up the next photo so you can get in the same mood. 😀  Right click – open in a background tab -> watch?v=N7EpJdQrlsQ

 

 

Aaand from there to my room which is about 13 square meters divided for two +wc and bathroom. I got a roommate who only speaks Russian. There wasn’t a fridge in the room. There is a a shared kitchen in each floor and here students buy their own fridges or mini fridges in their rooms. At first I was exited but also a little depressed of all these new arrangements  and changes that I needed to do now.

Next day we hit the town with M and shopped me all the things I need at the hostel. I bought a pillow and a blanket, kitchen accessories and some cleaning supplies. Also bought slippers! all these paid about 60€. Then the next day I came back to my room, cleaned it up and set my things. Everything starts to look more positive and my room is actually in a surprisingly good condition. My rent is 6800 Rubles =170 € for SIX(6) months! 😀 So I already paid it 😀 So my rent per month would be 28,33 €. There is also a free Wifi.

Just today get my schedule of the courses, it was a battle to get it 😀

First lesson was today. Russian language with one French and five Chinese girls. We had some food with the Frenchie afterwards. Nice girl from Paris who has also had the same problems with the school and these changes. I will tell you more about the school and the student city’s facilities later.

Me and M were very busy at the center of Moscow whole last week.

Last weekend I had also my first MMA -practice in here.

 

Next time some “Only in Russia” stuff about traffic! 😀

увидимся !

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So you must be some kind of a band then?

 

What’s up and whaddap !

I thought first that I would write my next article at the end of the week, but when I set my foot into the Tolstoi train dining car, I had no idea who I was going to meet. First I sat down to those space travelers seats and ordered my first touch of Russia.

Baltika, this fine beer from Russia. Here when you read from a beer bottle or can that how much alcohol this product contains it say “at least 5.4%” when in Finland it say “not more than 4.5%”. I think that it’s better that you might get more than you bought than less, right? 😀 This 0.5l beer can cost me (from a very expensive dining car)  130 rubles = 3.25 €.

So there I was, drinking my (first) cold beer. Strange was that all I could hear from the other tables was Finnish language. There was about 10 other Finnish guys also, which was great because with my Russian skills the small talk isn’t very respectable yet. Well, then some of them left, so there was four guys left. I was getting a little bit bored so I asked something about their vodka bottle and that could I join in.

Table talk (+English translation):

x: Mitäs oot menos Moskovaan tekemään? (What are you going to do in Moscow?)

me: No tarkotus olis opiskella puol vuotta. Mitäs te? (Well, I’m meaning to study for six months. What about you?)

x: Keikalle ollaa menossa. (We got a gig.)

me: Aijaa, te ootte siis joku yhtye? (Okey, so you must be some kind of a band then?)

x: No Joo. (Well, yeah.)

me: Minkäs niminen? (What’s it called?)

x: No me ollaan toi Sonata Arctica, semmosta vähä raskaampaa. (Well, we are that Sonata Arctica, we play heavy metal.)

 

I was like what the f*** ! Didn’t see that coming.. 😀 Other six people who already got back to sleep were the band’s crew and also maybe a singer. I’m not a huge Sonata Arctica -fan, but of course I know the band. I’m not surprised that I didn’t recognize them. They looked like some “rockers” though. Anyway, really cool guys and I think we got along pretty nicely. I got the feeling that they really know their stuff.

          

Here we talked about an hour about all kinds of things. Guys were having a gig at the Moscow Milk Club tomorrow(last Saturday) and they asked if I would like to come to watch. Well, of course I said yes! They promised to put “my name +5” at the entrance. I thought that was awesome !

I was planning to spend my first weekend with my “wife to be”. Let’s call her M. She has been working in Moscow about six months now and there was still four to go. I told her about what did happened last night. We decided to go, although she had this “make-up_artist_super_hairdresser_something” course going on at weekends. Aaaand maybe a little because of that course, we left a little late. We actually left when the gig started. There was about 20 minutes from the closest metro station(Новые Черёмушки) to the Moscow Milk Club + about 15 minutes walk at  both ends. So, M said that “let’s take a cab(taxi) from here to the metro station. It pays only about 100 rubles = 2.5 €”. I was like “okey, sounds good”.. (right?). Then we walked across a road and she lifts her hand in the air. (million cars, no sight of any cabs) I asked her: “What are you doing?” and She was like “What, this is what it means in Russia to take a cab!”.. So taking a taxicab straight from a street in Russia means hitchhiking a random car. There was too much traffic though for anyone to stop (thank god) so we had to walk.

Well, We survived trough the metro and arrived to the address we checked from the Google Maps.. Aaand  a Cemetery, what(pause)a(pause)fuck. We were badly late already and Google maps took us there. This software isn’t the best to use in Moscow. There is this “Яндекс(Yandex)” map and metro software that work better in Moscow (now I know).

Then continued walking the street forward and turned. We found this old looking place that had a lot of band posters on the walls about upcoming gigs. This must be it!

Well, guess what? It wasn’t.. 😀

Now we had to ask somebody for advice. An old man told us how to get there. After we walked across the street he started to wave to the other way with his hands. Apparently his first advice was wrong. We followed his hand signals. Now I was really starting to figure out how big this place actually is. Ten minutes later we found the Moscow Milk Club! Now it was time to worry that would my name actually be on the list.

Well, guess what? IT WAS !

We got in just to notice that the band was just walking off the stage. I was like “f*** you Google maps” – and ordered a beer. Me and M chilled a little while at the club and I started wondering that were those backstage talks with the band really real. First security guy that we asked said that “the band lied to you”. I punched him in the face and started to kiccc… noo, just kidding 😀 Then we asked from other security guy and he promised to get us the woman which was responsible for the band. She met us at the side of the stage and then left to ask them about it. I was thinking that “we are so not getting in” because there was a pretty big group of fans next to us who also wanted something.

Well, guess what? They kept all their promises!

We got to the backstage with the band 🙂 Drank a couple of beers and talked about their gigs and what it’s like to travel around the world and play for a living. Again I must say, really cool guys and they really love what they do! We spoke also that even that we missed this gig doesn’t mean that we couldn’t come to see them maybe some year in Finland.

Sonata Arctica’s next gig was at St.Petersburg and they had to leave there already at that night. So we left back around the midnight. Then some food was needed, and because I just arrived in Moscow, we had to order some sushi! In here, you can get sushi delivered to your front door.

About 50 minutes later the sushi had arrived. I think it was namnam!

спокойной ночи

 

This week I have been exploring my school and forced to speak some Russian. Next time I write about it! 🙂


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