Sunday, January 27, 2013

So the last think I talked about was the Russian Circus

But that wasn't the last activity we did. After we went to the circus, this was before New Years eve, we walked around during New Years eve celebrations, then we left for Alexander's apartment in Velikiye Luki. We spent about three days with Alexander, and then another day with Larisa maternal Aunt and Uncle by the Ukrainian border. It was a 7-9 hour car ride to Velikiye Luki, then another 3 hours to Aunt Clara's residence. She lives with her husband and various farm animals near the Latvian border in a town you probably couldn't find on a map. They are in their 80's (?) and tend to goat(s) chickens and two dogs. One is an indoor dog, and the other is an outdoor dog. 
This is the photo of Aunt Clara's residence. To the right is a smaller Dacha that they lived in for years, they only moved into the larger house in the late 90's. A couple of other interesting surprises, there was no indoor plumbing! There was some water piped into the house, but a toilet wasn't there. They used a wood-burning stove (?). It was encased into the wall. So it was a bit of a "central" heating unit. It kept the whole house nice and toasty. 
 The car in the picture is the Hyundai Accent/Solaris that we had the pleasure of riding in for the whole entire trip. Three adults, and one child. It wasn't the most unpleasant car I have been in, but it wasn't a Subaru wagon. Half way through the trip, the windshield wiper fluid dispenser eventually stopped working/got clogged. Instead of using the right kind of fluid, someone decided to just add water to the dispenser/tank whatever. You would think this was a bad idea, but who am I to judge. Did I mention how scary the road is to Velikiye Luki ? It's a two lane high way that is sometimes cleared very well, and sometimes isn't and has giant pot holes everywhere and dangerous conditons. 
Then this happened! Eventually before Peter left we went to go visit some friends of the family. Yes, that's a Twilight/New Moon/I don't know which one because I don't follow the series. Behind us is the most popular Russian TV movie, The Hound of Baskervilles from 1971. It's a very popular film and has a wonderful soundtrack. We didn't watch it, but I am sure it's very interesting to see lovesick teenagers blabbing in Russian about being lovesick teenagers. After spending time with the family, we then went to eat at KFC (good luck finding a Taco Bell, that doesn't exist out here. No matter how bad you want it.) By the way I was super excited about going to KFC, I mean you know it's a taste of home. It wasn't a taste of home because some dummy thought it would be better to have french fries instead of mashed potatoes and gravy. Yes it's KFC, and yes it's not healthy but it's mashed potatoes and gravy. They made a several layer mashed potato bowl of awesome from it or sadness. It was sadness. 

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