Thursday, January 3, 2013

Can't wait to ride around in that Mondeo!

The subway system in Saint Petersburg, is frightening. I keep reminding Peter that I have never seen a subway before. I have seen a MAX and a BART, but I Think those are pokey little puppies compared to the Subway system.
First you have to stand in line to get a token, Peter or his mother usually do this for me because I am American and can't say ahdeen (1) well enough to get by on my own. 2) NO PICTURES, means no pictures. See that cop there, and those 500 cameras there, that means no pictures. Also would you or your bag like a periodical pat down prior to passing through the token turn style. Good, hold still. 3) Escalators of doom. They go pretty deep, and they are scary. Peter and his mother have said that they will occasionally stop while people are riding them, and people are always riding them, and they will go flying. Sometimes you take two sets of escalators to get down to the tunnel. Open tunnel or closed tunnel, depends on whether or not there has been a large amount of suicides. Many times the tunnel looks similar to the MAX, only more people. Other times it resembles an elevator, large doors that only open when the train stops.
Train design, they look like they are from the 60's honestly. Maybe you in one from the 60's maybe one from the 90s. The design works so there is no need to improve. Handicapped and trying to ride a subway tough luck.
You know how awesome/fast or whatever you say about BART or MAX, nope not really. The SPB subway jerks very quickly stops very quickly and doesn't stop as frequently as MAX. (This is my number 1 complaint about MAX it pokes around, and it stops every 30 seconds. Sometimes you just need to get to Interstate Kaiser, or the airport. Or from Hillsboro to PSU, but not with the MAX that will take hours! It's Oregon!)
The subway stops running for about 4 hours in the early morning for passengers and switches to a cargo type system. What are they carrying and why, not sure yet.
Also today, we made it to the classy cemetery. Which as you know, I hate cemeteries. We then went around  to the metro the long way. It was huge, and people were praying in the small church. Peter was uncertain as to why they were lined up. The cemetery was located next to where he had stayed for a while when he lived in Saint Petersburg, apparently the neighborhood is very nice in the spring/summer. As for now though everything feels muck and barren from the snow.
This is the entrance to one of the subways, sorry no pictures inside. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I have been watching Russian TV

The interesting thing is that sometimes, you get shows that have great translations. Where their are male voices for males, and female voices for females. Then I  watch "The Big Bang Theory", this one is kind of sad. Instead of male and female "voice overs" speaking Russian, you get one male voice speaking Russian. That is unsettling, because I wonder how the plan on dealing Bernadette's voice. I mean she has a special voice, and it's unsettling enough listening to a man do Kaley Cuoco's voice, in Russian, as a man but you know you get used to it.
The more I turn down the TV the more I can read their lips, which is in English, so that makes my life easier.
Couple of other things I like about Russian tv, they put ages on the commericals, and they put ages on the programs. But instead of that wacky, TVMA DSLV or whatever alphabet soup we get in America, they just slap 16+ or 12+ on there. Very nice.

Monday, December 31, 2012

The question : how many churches can you visit in one day

Loki hasn't adjusted to the time change yet. We went on a hike all the way out to Peter Paul Fortress c. 1740. Also as today is New Years Eve everyone is preparing to have a party down here. I though am not a big fan of NYE. Though we have found out that, those on Soyuz or whatever they call it have sent their New Year wishes. That you will get shoved out of the donut shop when it is closing time for NYE. And that GiveRauche is awesome, but the perfumery can overwhelm horribly. I found the last resting place of the Romanov family, the one sadly assassinated for the sake of the Bolshevist revolution.This isn't of course entirely true, because no one really knows where they are residing at. Some of their bones could have got mixed in with the servants bones. It is an on going and never ending, drama for the Russians. I was trying to determine if the current population has some sort of regret for the murder of the children as they are innocents. But the answers aren't really there.
Also there are very, very few handicap ramps etc in Russia. Get ready for some pictures.
This is actually from our arrival, we were staying in a small, apartment right off Nevsky prospect. The place to the right of the photo is a scientology center. Ask Larisa how she feels about scientology. It will not go well. 

Balloon machine right? Not so much, it's a boot/shoe cover. I think they are a big deal in the winter. Weren't we saddened to find out they aren't a balloon machine. 

This is from 12/25 or 26. I can't really remember anymore. I am forcing Loki to participate with the other children in this very classy Holiday event. 

A lot of the children came in costome. The child behind Loki is dressed as a snow man. Other children have various other New Year Uncle Frost related costumes. 

So what this is as far as I can infer, is a magic christmas tree. King Samovar (man in gold) Naughty girl standing next to Samovar, tea guard, and snow princess girl.There is something going on, Naughty girl and tea guard are trying to trick King Samovar into imprisoning snow princess. Kind of got lost in translation after that. 

It's Uncle Frost (Ded Moroz) , I know him! 

Ded Moroz and Snow princess (Snegurochka)
So everything turned out okay. Yes the children are sitting on Bean Bags, occasionally the stewardesses would come along and adjust the bags. The parents sat behind the children in real chairs. I sat next to my son in a beanbag chair. No other parent did this.