A Cultural Weekend

This weekend has been packed with touristy type things as we have just realised we only have two weeks left to see everything! Sunday we went to the museum of the blockade of Leningrad. During WW2 the whole city was blockaded by the German and Finnish armies for 90 days and the people could get no food, clothes or any recourses and there was no way out (the reason some people survived was one winter lake Ladaga froze and the Russian army sent cars over with provisions). Our teacher was telling us about his grandad who survived the blockade and all the adults in their building gave all their food to the children (each person was allowed 125g of bread a day!) and everyone survived but in the next building all families kept to themselves and all the children died. Thousands of people died a week, especially in the winter as the second winter was the coldest recorded!

When we got to the museum a little old lady started telling us (well…she chose just to talk to Rory, he was her favorite and us girls wont understand talk of war) about the blockade and her experience and where was bombed and how people escaped, it was really interesting but very sad! A lot of people survived somehow and on victory day they joined in the parade along Nevskii and everyone cheered them and gave them flowers, it’s amazing how people actually know about their own history and are so involved in it.

We looked around the museum and at the end there was a display of weapons and old metal army helmets…all rusting and deteriorating and all, apparently, available for trying on/playing with! Only in Russia…We tried on the army helmets and had a look at the weapons, was odd to be holding something someone had probably died with…

Rory and a machine gun







Now it is sunny and warm and white nights are in full swing the city is so much busier. The main change is the level of drunks, if possible it has in fact grown. On the bus the other day the man next to me (Sergei was his name apparently) asked me if I had a bottle opener and then proceeded to open a bottle of beer with his teeth and sit there getting drunk on the bus. No one even seemed to notice.

It gets dark here about half 12 now and light at 3. It is so hard to sleep! I am also being bitten to death by mosquito’s, somehow they always make their way into my room. We only have two weeks left here though so I am hanging in there but pretty exhausted from so little sleep and so much work (no I still haven’t finished my project…)

Last night my hoz (Zoya) informed me she is going away for a month..in the morning! I didn’t really know what to say, we had a little goodbye and she said it was lovely having me and she enjoyed talking to me…then she disappeared! Bit of a sudden goodbye! I am sad she is leaving, she talks to me a lot which is good for my language and she always keeps me company while I’m cooking. I’m sure Slava and Lidia will miss her too as neither of them can cook…this will be interesting!

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