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December 2007

November 2007

как вас зовут?

work has been keeping me busy this week, but not as hectic as sydney.  i guess with different locations comes different responsiblities.  this week has been especially grueling since everytime i go to work or come out of the building i see my new car sitting across the street.  it's taunting is hard to surpress.  i've been told i'll get to take it tomorrow after the plates and registration are complete. but i'm not getting my hopes up.  but the walk up and down the hill every day is starting to get old even though it's a short walk.

languages classes are going well but i still draw a blank with a few letters once in awhile and learning the different cases is going to be a struggle.  but i'm sticking with it and can already feel some of the unconcious reflexes kicking in when i pronounce something in russian.

a cold has hung on to me since i arrived.  i think it's been at least 3 weeks now.  it's shifted from a sore throat, aches, and runny nose.  can't wait to see what it's like during winter.


vladrophenia

a belated thanksgiving post-

about 3 months to the day have passed since I parted ways with my scoot.  this friday i was reunited again with it and i'm happy to report it arrived in perfect condition. now it's happily found it's home again and this time enjoying the comforts of indoor living.  i won't get to ride it for awhile but that's alright.  i'll need some time to get use to the driving here and after my car gets here next week, i'll have plenty of time to practice. 

i also received all my consumables this week.  now i'm hopped up on the comforts of home that are hard to find here.  some of the consumable items include ingredients to make mexican, thai and all american meals.  unfortunately, i'm missing about a dozen things that i really needed for my stay here.  one of them included chunky peanut butter.  i don't know if i saw it available here so i'll have to take a look at one of the larger markets.  i'll be checking this week to see if they charged me for it or just forgot to ship it, either way it'll be a month or more before they can resend it from the commissary.  i was going to post the photo of all the consumables but decided not to.  it seemed like a decedant pic of american consumerism.  i guess spending three years here makes up for needing a little help in the area of necessary grocery supply items.

i joined my boss and his family for thanksgiving dinner and enjoyed sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie among the available dishes.   so over all, thanksgiving offered up several things for me to be thankful for this year even though i'm far from home.  hope everyone else enjoyed the holiday.  now drag those xmas decorations out of the basement/attic and get going.


life in the foreign circus

last weekend some of us got together and ventured out in the cold to see the circus.  i learned it was probably the last showing for the season.  the venue will have other performances showing later on but not circus type events.  the circus building is located just a short walk from work.  that made it even more appealing since i'm still without a car.  i also wanted to try out my canon with the new lenses again.  i had packed everything away except for a 17-85mm and a 50mm.  and now i had my telephoto lens along with the rest, thanks to the arrival of all my personal effects.

after we got there and found our seats, i noticed i was probably standing out in the crowd with my camera and the 70-300mm lens whenever I brought it out. but the end results were worth it.  i had to play with the manual settings for a while until i could find a good balance with the exposure and speed.  i'm still missing a lot of good shots when i can't find the right settings, but i learn something new everytime i use it.

All in all the circus performers put on a great show.  i was expecting a small one ring event and that's what it was.  but they all gave solid performances with only minimal mistakes.  there were  jugglers on a spinning aparatus that were cool, i didn't care if they drop a couple clubs.  the animals that were brought out, consisted of dogs, horses, bears, maybe some lynx?, and boars.  yep boars.   there were also the usual human performers, a ring mistress, magicians, tightrope walkers, a ladder balancing act, trapeze artists, a strong man, jugglers, horseback riding girls, a couple doing a suspended hoop act and of course a clown.

during the intermission the audience could walk down to the ring and buy various circus stuff for sale.  most of it looked like what you'd see at a kids toy shop. there was also a ride you could do that looked like a small parachute on a rope.  i would see a child being quickly hoisted straight up in the air and then lowered slowly back to the ground.

unfortunately, i let my camera battery go to long without charging and missed the last act.  but since i was about 10 rows back and it was the horse back riding girls, i don't know if i would have been able to focus well enough to get a good picture.  the pictures that i did take seemed to turn out alright.  if you want to check them out goto:

my new flickr account and the circus photos


it's an early xmas

after having the largest gap between posts today, i can say with certainty, being without your household effects is the worst, aside from being away from family.  it was almost 3 months to the day when i did my packout until most of my stuff arrived in russia.  but now that its all here, i'm feeling better about having things handy when i need them instead of making due with whats available.  it does give one a chance to sort through whats important to have and what are the luxuries.  now the only things i'm waiting on are my car, scooter and consumables.  the latter i've been getting by without, but it can get expensive buying locally some of the common things you need.  so when they arrive, i'll be spending less time running back and forth to the store and more time out and about.  the car is on time for arrival and i should be looking at it in my driveway by december.  and lastly the scooter.  i had to come up with some paperwork at the last minute that i had overlooked.  in the process, i discovered what i thought was a title was actually just registration paperwork i had received in australia.  i had assumed every country has a title of some sort, but australia basically takes your title from you when you turn in your plates.  i still have no idea how they claim a vehicle is theirs. if it's sitting in storage without plates for example.  i ended up getting a document from the australian rta that basically said i'm the last registered owner of the scooter and no one else has registered it.  so by default i'm the owner.  i hope it's good enough for russian customs official, we'll see.

after a couple tours in non-english speaking posts, i've come to the conclusion you learn the same words first no matter what country you're in.  for me the words in the following order were:

  • hello
  • goodbye
  • yes
  • no
  • thank you
  • your welcome
  • good morning
  • good day
  • good night
  • how much
  • which way to the industrial park  (j/k)

scooter-ru, where are you?

Scootas scooter sightings in vladivostok.  i found these bikes my first day on the way to work.  from what i could tell, they are for rent.  the weather is still ok for riding here and i've seen a few intrepid riders out and about.  mine's in the city now but currently going through the customs process and being cleared.  i'll probably see it this week with all the rest of my stuff.  but my car probably won't get here till dec.  driving here presents a new set of problems though, mainly due to the lack of stoplights and stopsigns.  even in a car it tends to be a bit of white knuckle driving once in awhile.  if i was to ride it before winter, i'd still need to get insurance and the registration squared away.  until i know the city, i think i'll have to painfully keep it stored for winter and settle on being a regular four wheeled driver.  but on the bright side, it'll give me more time to work on mods for it,  maybe a big sidecar and some vintage green paint.