I’ve found the solution to my time-management issues: all I need to do to get everything done that I want to get done is not go to class. Haha.
Seriously, I’ve had this week off from school, and it’s been exactly what I needed. I still went to my internship and my history class, but those activities weren’t nearly so draining as usual. I’ve slept till 10 every day, when the sun finally wakes me up (sunrise is about 9 AM right now, I think, though I’m not sure, since I haven’t been up to see it rise!). Efforts to rise earlier have been fruitless, although admittedly I haven’t tried too hard. I’m not really looking forward to getting up at 7 or 7:30 again starting Monday. Funny how that seems so early now, when I’ve spent the last year or so getting up at 5 AM no problem.
I made a trip to the Consulate today to mail my absentee ballot (sure hope they count my vote!). I didn’t bother to go through all the security to go inside; I just gave the envelope to the Russian security guard out front (hope he passed it on!). I found it rather ironic that I held in my hand an envelope labeled “secret ballot” and the guard immediately asked, “Who did you vote for, if it’s not a secret?” Oh, how I love Russia.
This trip to the Consulate demonstrated one of the difficulties of living in a big city: travel time. The actual act of dropping off my ballot took all of five minutes, but getting from my apartment to the Consulate and then from the Consulate to Palace Square, where I met a friend for a visit to the Hermitage, took an hour and a half. And each of those locations is in the “center” of the city! Sometimes I miss Iowa City’s cozy downtown - drunken freshmen and all.
After wandering the Hermitage for about an hour and a half, we went to a free piano concert at my university, given by Galina Zhugova, who graduated from the Conservatory here. Man is that girl talented! She played Bach, Chopin, and Khachaturyan. It was lovely. Russian moment: when someone’s cell phone rang near the beginning of the second act, Galina glared and shook her head disapprovingly. Seems small, but it’s a big cultural difference; an American performer would more than likely ignore the ring, or at least not react to it.
Abrupt end to a hastily and lazily composed post.
5 days ago