Thursday, October 18, 2012

Бабье Лето

The internets are back yipppeeee! It was a rough four days feeling cut off from the world, but now I am reunited with my high-speed internet and checking my e-mail isn't an hour-long frustrating ordeal.
Having the internet back also means that I can tell you all about how wonderful my day was yesterday.  We woke up here in Kharkov to bright sunshine and a nice warm day. I thought our Бабье лето (Indian Summer )was over, but it looks like we got two more days of a second indian summer of sorts. I spent the morning reading Корреспондeнт (Correspondent) and Зеркало Недели (Mirror of the week) until Vera got home from another frustrating trip to and consulate and it was decided that a trip to Puzata Hata, a popular (amazingly delicious) Ukrainian restaurant, was just what we needed to lift our spirits.   After a delicious lunch we headed to class, but not after a nice walk in the glorious sunshine.  It didn't feel right to be going to three and a half hours of class on such a beautiful day, but alas the life of a студентка. In the short break between classes I returned a call that turned out to be from the number of our female choir director.  After a short conversation I hung up the phone rather confused and pretty sure that between the noise on her end and the noise in the hallway on my end that she was trying to tell me that we weren't rehearsing today.  I decided to stop by after class anyhow.  While they definitely weren't rehearsing, you can imagine my surprise when I walked into the choir room to find everyone sitting around a large "table" made of some desks pushed together and loaded up with multiple bottles of konyak and champaign.  I slipped into an open spot at the table and a girl next to be told me that we were celebrating the female director's birthday.  Immediately a glass of champaign I didn't really want to drink was immediately shoved into my hands, but it proved to be useful for sipping as toast after toast was made. It was pretty clear that many of my choir friends were going to be having an early alcohol-induced bedtime.  I was happy to see that one girl was video taping, so Liza can later watch the dance performance she gave and we can all laugh at the tall, bearded man's eccentric singing.
A little after six everyone was dispersing, so I headed over for the last hour of the "Window on America" English speaking club.  When I arrived they were in the middle of a fun game, so I jumped in and joined for the next two rounds.  After the game we finished up the speaking club by watching a short video and then hurried out before the library closed at 19:00.  When I first arrived at the university I couldn't believe that the library closed so early.  Back home at least the main lobby of the library is open 24 hours a day and the upstairs study areas are open until eleven or midnight.  But I think it all goes back to the fact that "student life" has a very different meaning here.  Students come to the university for class and maybe a group meeting or two, but then disperse to the different parts of the city where they live and do the majority of their studying at home.  Anyhow, after gathering our things we headed outside and decided that the weather was much too lovely to head straight to the nearest metro stop and go home.  Instead we spent about an hour walking around as our group slowly dwindled down to three people and the others scurried off to their different metro stops and marshrutkas.  By that time it was Anton and I and Ahmad. Ahmad has been at speaking club almost every week, but this was the first chance I had to really chat with him one on one.  Ahmad is from Iraq and in his third year of studying medicine here in Kharkov.  I can tell that he has an extremely kind heart and deeply misses his home and family. I was the talkative one in our group tonight as I was filled with story after story and the guys decided that their lives must be awfully boring compared to mine. haha!  Even a simple question somehow turned into a drawn-out recounting of this crazy American's adventures.  My train was arriving just as Anton and I entered the metro, so I ran-off, slipped between the closing doors, and gave a smile and a wave to Anton as the train left the station. What a great day and what a happy Chelsea!

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