Spring has sprung…apparently.

It is officially Spring! Although of course in Russia this means snow, ever so slightly warmer temperatures, icicles falling on your head and being ankle deep in slush. And the Russians are as prepared as ever! There are armies of people pushing the snow off roofs, knocking down icicles and shovelling the remaining snow onto the backs of lorries. We have been warned that we will need to buy wellies as once the snow melts (and there is still ALOT of snow) the paths will be like rivers.

This week in “Maclenitsa “which is like Pancake Day but a whole week! Pancakes for everyone! Nothing appears to be much different as people eat pancakes all the time here anyway, it is like their version of MacDonald’s: Cheap fast food, only nicer.

Last Wednesday it was men’s day when Russia celebrates the army and men in general. Women are meant to give men presents such as aftershave or razors. There wasn’t much celebrating though! My hoz Slava says they don’t celebrate men’s day as much as women’s, and he says that everyday is womens day anyway!

This Wednesday it will be Women’s day and they go crazy for it! Women receive lots of presents and are wined and dined (sounds wonderful to me). In our speaking class we were discussing this and apparently it is normal for men to buy women things like make-up, shampoo or even a microwave! The guys in our class said such presents would probably be taken the wrong way by English Women, the teacher was surprised men thought so much about the reactions the presents would get! Aren’t they thoughtful?

We have also been to the Ballet this week at the Marinsky Theatre. It was amazing! We got cheap last minute seats which were awful and we could only see half of the stage! Halfway through we moved to what were probably “worse” seats as they were not as comfortable and on the top level but we could see perfectly!  The first half was “Petrushka”: about some dolls at a fair that come to life, the two male dolls fall in love with the female doll and in the end the bigger doll kills the weaker one: charming! The second half was a more modern form of ballet and they did all kinds of creepy moves. The way they can move their bodies is amazing but also rather unnerving!


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