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Showing posts from August, 2018

Здравствуйте! Hello! - in Russian Language

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That was the first word we had to learn in Russian - and such a friendly way to say hello! Believe me, it wasn't the easiest introduction to our new language. Since I'm writing this blog about life in Russia, I thought you should have an introduction to the language here.

We had 3 weeks of Russian classes in July and now started working with a tutor twice a week for 2 hours. We need to pass a Russian test before Chuck can get his work permit, so we need to keep studying.

Russian is a hard language to learn, but since it's written in Cyrillic that makes it more difficult to figure things out. Many letters look the same but are pronounced completely different. For example the word "ресторан" means  restauran(t). The p's are really r's, c's are always s's, and н is really an n. And don't forger that - в is always a v sound and ш is the sh. It gets confusing.


And there are the letters that don't look anything like our English letters: г = g, …

"Home Sweet Home" - Not American Version

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We've lived in St. Petersburg for close to two months and have yet to see "the American dream" - a single family house. Here, everyone lives in an apartment, located either in an old building in the historic city center or in a new high-rise farther out.


The high-rise buildings are everywhere you look--in the center of everything, or at the edge of one of the many rivers.


We keep hearing about the communist era cement buildings, but we haven't seen many that look too old and dilapidated. They are probably replaced by the new high-rises built since freedom came in the 1990s.

We live in one of these new high-rise complexes. Our third-floor apartment is in a 21 story building in a complex of five other buildings (called korpus in Russia). We live in Korpus 3.

This complex includes several modern, colorful play areas for the children. It also includes an underground parking garage for the many cars that people own. In fact, the playground is located over the parking garage.


Достопримечательности of St. Petersburg

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I thought that since I was in Russian class for 3 weeks, I better show off all the Russian I know, so I put the longest word we learned in my blog this week. That long word means a famous site for tourists to visit in a city. We took some time last week to visit some of St. Petersburg sites which I am sharing with you today.



The picture on the left is the Alexander Column - the tallest of its kind in the world - built for the victory over Napoleon's France. It's named after the emperor who defeated the French, Alexander I. It's located in Palace Square next to the Winter Palace of Peter the Great. It's topped by an angel holding a cross.




Across the square from the Alexander Column is the General Staff Building, built in the early 1800s, which used to hold the Finance Ministry and Foreign Ministry joined by a triumphal arch. The arch is decorated with sculptures also honoring the victory over Napoleon.


One of the main attractions in St. Petersburg is the statue of Peter t…

Riding the Underground Rails

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During the last three weeks, we were attending Russian language class 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. We left home, at 9:00 along with the commuting crowd, and made our way to the metro station ten minutes from our flat.

We're used to traveling by the metro from our year in Prague, but there are some distinct differences with the St. Petersburg system.

The metro system here is much cleaner - absolutely no graffiti anywhere - and fancier. Many of the metro stops were built in the 1950s to show off the splendor and power of the Soviet Union.


In the picture above, the walls of the Alexander Nevsky  station are covered in gold plating to mimic the armor of Alexander Nevsky as he rode to victory over the German and Swedish invaders in the 1200s. You can see other pictures of metro stations if you click on this link St Petersburg Metro. It's illegal to take pictures today in the underground stations, so you'll have to check out the link and scroll down to see more.

The stations …