Friday, January 25, 2013

Daria's return, frosty adventures, and linguistics part 2

To begin with, Daria returned last Friday night/Saturday morning. The plane was supposed to land around 5pm, but due to a snowstorm in Germany (layover), it didn't leave Boston until later because they knew they couldn't land, thus arriving in SPB about 2am. This new arrival pushed the transportation costs to the airport and back from less than 300 rubles to about 2200 rubles because we were forced to take a taxi after the metro and busses close for the night. However, despite the late arrival, she arrived safely and it's great to have her back in Russia. The pets, grandparents, and me most of all missed her presence here and we're all glad for her return. (Added bonus, I got some of my aunt's caramel corn via air-Daria).

We rested all day Saturday sleeping half the day away. Before Daria's departure, she and I had been talking about replacing the bed here. We had a beautiful old futon-esque bed (where you store bedding underneath when it's folded up and therefore is more of a bed than what Americans think of as a futon which is more couch that can be a bed; these types of beds are common here in Russia and many European countries with small apartments), with a sturdy wooden frame, and it once had a solid straw/wood mattress (actually comfy straw, not unpleasant). However, it was quite old, possibly 50/60+ years. Therefore on Sunday, Daria and I went with Olya, Vova, and Nadia in search of bed and bought a new bed. We had hoped that the old bed would be moved to a different room since it would be fine for a two week stay, but grandpa decided to just throw the bed out. The new bed has done wonders for a better night's sleep. It is also futon-esque though so it's quite nice to sit on when propped up. The animals also love it quite a bit.

As for the frosty adventures, Daria met me after work today in Tavrichesky Cad. We had a wonderful walk through the park and we ventured down onto the frozen pond and walked all over the pond. There's also a strip where people cleared some of the snow off the top and you run on the snow and then slide on the ice-strip. There is a meme on vkontakte (Russian social website) that has a picture of such ice-strips with the comment "You know what to do." Well, Daria and I had a fun time running and sliding for a while. Additionally, we enjoyed watching people ski around and all the kids slide and/or sled down the embankment onto the canals/pond. Lots of wintery fun was had this afternoon in the park.

Daria skating on the pond.
You can also notice that I've learned how to put photos in the blog. In addition to the winter fun we had outside, I had a chuckle the other day about how people put frost on their windows to give a winter atmosphere. Here we get the real deal and it looks beautiful, especially as the light fractures and glistens.

Moving into the linguistics part 2 on a few things I forgot last week. First, I read an interesting article about how knowing more than 1 language is good at staving off later-life diseases like Alzheimer's.

Secondly, I've been pondering over the past few months about business people learning multiple languages for their work. Many people around the world learn English for business, but why not encourage a majority/all of business people to learn two languages? Native English speakers should also learn languages like German or Japanese for business. With multiple people in a company knowing different languages, a company would be able to thrive with multi-national meetings/partners much better.

The last part of linguistics that I thought was interesting was that the word for 'pen' in Russian is ручка (roochka) which is also the same word for a door handle or a handle on a teapot. It is rooted with the word for hand рука. I hadn't thought about it for English, but we also share "hand" in "handle."

Until next time.

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