I met my Host Family today. It is a babushka. I think she is roughly 45 to 50. She is a music teacher to kindergarteners. She works with a lot of special-ed students or students with speech impediments. She has a 23-year-old son who lives at home. He is a dentist, who makes dentures. He gets in to the home around 1 AM or so. He is apparently working a lot lately so that he can get a new car (he has an old Russian one that is “bad” so that he could learn to drive, but now wants a new one- Rita (the mother) doesn’t think he needs one).
The trip back took about 40 minutes total. This included walking to the metro, riding it 2 stations, and then walking to IMOP. Not that bad. The apartment seems to be in a good neighborhood - there are lots of schools near by as well as parks.
She cooked an awesome dinner. It included borscht (yes I ate it, and it ROCKED!) blinli (sp is wrong) [Russian pancakes] with cabbage and cheese inside and potato pancakes. She had also gotten meat to cook before she knew I was a veggi and Jess (who went with me) said that it was really good.
She had her niece there to help translate, because she spoke and understood English, but her niece was much better (she had just finished studying at school). She says she will help correct my Russian and teach me stuff. This is wonderful, because that is what I wanted the homestay to do.
I have access to her kitchen to cook dinner and lunches and stuff. She will cook me breakfast (to be ready at) 8:20 AM because she will then leave for school. That is plenty early enough so that I will still have time to get ready for school and head to IMOP. I will prolly be able to review my Russian or other class info before I head off.
My room is nice. There is a bed/couch thing, closet and piano. It has a balcony that looks towards the university. The view is wonderful. She is on the 12th floor of the apartment building. (It does have an elevator). The building is located on Toreza Prospect near the Ploshchad Muzhestva metro station on the red line (for you Dr. Ely so you can figure out where I actually am). I can take either the metro or a bus to IMOP.
The view from her living room is Wonderful! You can see the entire St. Petersburg skyline, including Peter and Paul Cathedral and the TV tower that lights up.
I will not have internet there, but will have a washer that I can pay for (which is nice, so I don’t have to lug my laundry around). There are apparently grocery stores and other markets close by her house as well.
I am really looking forward to getting to stay with her!
See you around the Globe!