Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Electric Lash & Trees In The Studio...

well I felt crap this morning whne I woke up - I have been sleeping poorly and not more than 4 hours at a time for the last few nights, I just put it down to being another jet lag and another adjustment.

this morning I woke up and phillip was gone for an early class. he had coached me on what to do and where to do the last few days and I had been given a plan.

We have 2 front doors. for some reason we have a fire door and then a normal wooden door in the same door frame. The lock on the fire door is a 4 bolt lock and has a special 4 sided key. quite weird but I must say I like teh security, we also have an alarm in the flat, but the land lady does not trust us to use it I have been told. ... anyway I digress. This morning I jumped out of bed when I saw the time, I had slept in a tad and wanted to make up the time so I got ready and all and then as I was about to leave, I found the key would noy open the lock on the fire door effectively locking me in the house. FRUSTRATION!

So I sms Phillip, who by 10am was finishing a class and said it was not a bother to come home and let me out, he is good like that very patient and very understanding.

he arrived and let me out and then said he had no other class for today so it was brunch and we had tea and left for a quest...

The quest to find a Dry cleaner! Now dry cleaning clothes in russia is a new and odd idea to them, supermarkets are a new idea to them for god;s sake so you can imagine the difficulty trying to find one. Yulia in the office the day before had given me a map and directions to find one and so I spent 90 minutes covering very shop in a strip mall of 400 metres. Many the pantomime and broken russian phrase with many the unhelpful person to discover that the dry cleaner was in the basement of a residential building BEHIND the strip mall. we finally found the entrance and much to our surprise found a plethora of clothing shops and the dry cleaner!! $38 US later I had the clothes in and I will pick em up in the speedy time of 4 days later...

off to work with phillip as he had a few things to do at the office and I planned a conversation class. found a free program that makes crosswords as that was the request of the day before... Phillip bought me a bellini - a thin russian pancake they make at the stall ( which happened to be like a carnival stall trailer like you would find seling hot dogs or fast food. I had Salmon... back to the office...

I sorted out a few things and sent some emails and then went up at 6.30 for the class. now of the 8 people in it, only 2 showed with fucked the dynamic I planned for. But the guys were quite good about it and I had fun with the things we planned anyway...

phillip had a late ineterview and so we went home together and I got more familiar with the way home.

a few beers tortellini and half a watermelon later it was bed time CRASH LANDING

Obi-crash! (not as good as the German movie - Polski-Crash)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Moscovites & Me

woke up today at 7 and figgited until 7.30 when I thought it wise to get up and have a shower. so all done and then I thought - "Iron my shirt!" well easier said than done. The Iron we have is old - and have no stream setting. it has been a long long age since I have used an iron that does not have a steam setting and it made Ironing my shirt a real shit! - I figured out a way and layed a damp towel over the shirt and then ironed it. This put moisture into the shirt and made it easier to iron - but still took 30 minutes! I gotta buy an iron! Come to think of it I have to buy bowls and cutlery too!! So many things and I need em all. i have been in the kitchen much to many people's surprise. I plan on being useful in that room of the house for the first time in my life...

I went off to work today with Phillip, followed him across andropov prospekt to the class he was taking at an ancillary campus we have. i just chatted to Irina and Ona the admin girls and checked the email etc.

Then it was a hot and humid walk back to andropov prospekt to the subway and a dance around the many lines to get to the main office on Prospekt Mira in the centre of the city, actually in the old stadium of the moscow games, our office is on the fourth floor up stairs.

Met everyone in the office again and it was good not to have to shoot at them. I went down to the teachers lounge with doubles as Yulia's office and we went over the contract. I resigned the contract as they had changed teh details since a few recent problems arose with Teachers etc. All the amendments seems fair and reasonable to me and I signed again. i picked a desk and I sat down and started researching and creating a plan for the first conversational class at 6.30pm. 90 minutes later it was over and I think I was a hit with the 17 - 20's crowd. hey - any positive feed back to admin on my first class will be gratefully accepted I say!

Then, because I was waitng for Phillip to finish, I sat in reception for 45 minutes and had a long laugh and chat with Veronica.

a crowded subway ride home and change of line a few times and a stop at the produkti - (small supermarket) for a few beers before Middleborough played portsmith and a few nice icy beers on thsi humid night. It is after midnight and I am tired but I don't really wanna sleep.

Tomorrow I have the same class again and i have to prepare something FUN for they they said... HmMm... what about an AK47 up the ass!!?

I have discovered that the exchange rate is rather good... so I am happy - the other day I thought I spend 200 US on groceries - turned out to actually be 60 US and for what I bought I was happy with that price.

The subways are a credit to the system, considering at peak they service nearly 10 million Moskovites and me.

Obi just so hip his bum fell off!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Wakey Wakey Ya Hair All Snake-ski!

slept reasonably well and woke up okay. I was invited to go paint balling by my boss she thought it a good team excerise, Of course she didnt tel us the cost of it and we had to pay at the end, but the welts were worth it for shooting at my coworkers!

After that and no food at all for at least 16 hours Phillip and I went to a uzbekistani restaurant and had chicken shazlick and salad from a salad bar. We walked uner the subway to the supermarket - which was surprisinglt much better than I expected. I bought $300 on groceries, just a comprehensive first buy really...

we are knackered as you would expect and later we are off to the corner to get a few beers to take home. The st petersberg brew that I like tastes remarkably like Hosten the german beer. Quite nice.

I rearanged my bedroom and sprayed the dusty mustiness with some lavender Glade I bought. smells like 30 years and I cannot really think how to clean my bed other than to have a guy come in and clean it professionally and keep the windows open a lot.

Supermarket has no plastic containers to stick in the freezer at all. Lots of vodka in fact a whole aisle and lots of cakes and buns etc but to find a loaf of fresh bread and you are a genius!

So there you have it... I still havent figured out the money and the cost of things but that is okay - I just have to be cautious.

I did go to an expat bar pretending to be an Irish bar, but was just dingy and cluttered. They do have an Aussie flag in there so cant be all bad. The beer was good and the bar maids were hot - supernova hot and knew it to, so that really spoils the whole eye candy thing...

I still have a bad habit of falling asleep on the trains. it is just a life long habit that I will have to break - I dunno the trains system yet or the language for that matter - so I have to keep the eyes peeled and countt he stops and memorise landmarks.

TV fuckin sux... I am hoping I can get DSL connected but from what I have been told the apartment owner has been a little reluctant in the past. Ideally an WIFI system would be good, but we will see.

made dinner tonight and it was spagetti bolognese-ski... not the greatest but at least ir was edible. Most russian Salads are mayonaise based so I am told and I just hate mayonaise. What about tomatoes, onion and romain lettuce with balsamic vinegar???! What happened to the basics??!

I have so many emails to write and an important issue to catch up on - my real estate agent needs my attention lets just say...

Gotta do a wash tomorrow and take my first class... Fun Fun Fun!

Obi got it goin'ooon!

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Well I landed at Sheremetyvo airport and customs was a breeze, in fact I was outta the airport under 40 minutes! So Nerrrr to LAX and JFK and Frankfurt airports!

HmMM - first about Russia... oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd oMyGawd!

I was picked up at the airport by my boss Ilona and her boyfriend Sergei. I warmed up to them straight away, very nice and genuine people. The weather was warm and I just stared out the window as the city blurred by. I chatted with Sergei a lot and learnt a few new words along the way.

We got to the apartment and I was informed that my house mate Phillip was actually at the same airport saying goodbye to a friend. The door lock stuck and after 35 minutes of trying and calling Phillip we decided it best to wait for Phillip to return and show us the unique dance and twist of the key that we needed to do to get the door open. Question One? Why does my apartment door have 2 doors?

Now I have been told that this apartment is free. and quite nice for the 2 bedroom it is. Looking around I see that it is in fact quite comfortable and even has it's own washing machine! I live on a prospekt that is about 10kilometres long and about 4 kilometres from work.

I have been to red square already and I was suitably impressed. it was a humid afternoon and it rained while we were there so we ducked into the shopping centre next door. I say 'we' because when Phillip got home I thought I would take him out for a beer and dinner and see some of the sights. It is good to make a good impression on your housemate and mentor I think and I think I made a good one! Phillip is full of handy information about where when what and how and quite a few good stories along the way.

I have been told that the old lady that owns this apartment is very nice but not open to new ideas. i.e. the

Today - because it is 5am - I am going to a team building thing with Sergei. We are going paint-balling!

First class is a intermediate Conversation class on monday night and I am looking forward to making a good impression on my students.

Obi kickin it on the east siiide!

Welcome - ЖЕЛАННЫЙ

Welcome to all that read in blog entries, I hope I can make them interesting and at least entertaining... We'll see.
December 1989 was the last time I was in Russia, actually we can't count that deported no visa situation back in 1991 because that was Belarus, not actually Russia, but at 3am and minus 25c, who woulda cared...
I am keen to discover the changes that have taken place in the last 17 years, I am sure I will barely recognise the place.
Much of the 2 weeks leading up to the step across the ocean was spet sitting ans sighing. Now that is something I am really good at but believe me there is method to my madness...
Also emotionally I needed the time more than a week or so of pay to center and settle myself. Anyone can fling themselves onto a plan, but it takes a true Zen artist to do it with a clear head and heart.
My good friend Fatman will be here in Moscow in 2 weeks, I will see him for a day and a session at a pub I would hope, I look forward to hearing about his journey east west across Russia.
The warm sun of the waning summer in Moscow will be a welcome relief, it has been cold in Melbourne but I know I am in for colder in the next few months here.
I - Obi...