When I woke up around 8 am my time (5pm EST the day before), I decided to go try to find internet before eating and going downtown. Sveta, the wonderful lady who met us at the airport, wanted to show us downtown today.
After walking out the dorms to go to the only place I knew with internet, I ran into a problem…the way I knew was locked tight. I started to go down stairs, but realized I didn’t want to walk down 5 flights just to walk back up them. When I exited the stairwell, I ran into Alex, who was also looking for internet!
We thought there was another exit from the dorms towards the sports hall…so we started walking that way. There is but it’s the long way around. After a helpful security woman told us how to exit. We literally walked around the building/campus.
Only to find a gate.
Which we watched a Russian jump.
We looked at each other and shrugged, then climbed the fence.
But, once we got to the place with internet, it was closed on Sundays, so we asked the security people if we could sit on the benches they were using to block the doors, but they said no.
So we sat right outside on the ground.
|statue of tigers downtown|
Which is a problem for Russia. People don’t just sit on the ground. But we needed internet.
After about 5 minutes, the security guard came over and invited us to sit on the benches with our legs facing out. J
Then internet!...until my ipad died…
Alex and I went to the store to buy 5 L of water, because we didn’t need anything else and you definitely don’t want to carry 5L of water when you need to buy other stuff too.
After brunch, we all met up to go downtown, taking an entirely different bus from a different stop.
The center/quay (набережная) is very calming and relaxing. There is a beach right there (so ignore my comments from yesterday if you want to) with paddleboats (called cataramans in Russian) and row boats for rent. If you walk along, there are cafes and shops full of “sea products” (aka fish) and a cute tiger statue.
They even had a place where you could work out for free, it looked really cool, but the whole 30 min there 30 min back/ outside in winter thing didn’t really appeal to me. But I might try it for the first month.
It was calm and relaxing to just walk along the seashore. I missed having that in Kentucky/Irkutsk/Macedonia. I like being by an ocean/gulf. I like knowing and I go and just be calmed by the sea.
We stopped for a drink at a super expensive bar. And I learned something new, the Russians love Jack Daniels. The whole bar was practically a tribute to Jack Daniels (with lots of different flavors).
Ryan and I wanted to try to find a matress pad (after being woken up by a pain in my hip from the bed, I knew I had to try something!) she said we needed to go to the Chinese market. (the Chinese has this market cornered in almost every place I’ve been to!) After 30 min of trying to find this matress pad, we finally do…only to realize that what we wanted was lot in translation and mattress pad had been translated to mattress cover. But this store did have matress pads, just not as thick as in the US. So for 750 RUB we decided that our comfort was worth it and quickly bought them!
We caught a taxi back, and I realized something. I had been looking at Soviet block housing, but it had been decorated. It wasn’t a straight block, but every apartment building had something decorative under the windows…take that away and it was block housing. Which goes with something I learned the other day Vladivostok was the last city to turn communist; they held out until 1920.
I do have to say…this no internet thing has made me more productive. With no please reading books left, I have nothing else to do with my time than to read the school books I had been avoiding. Now I’m almost done with them.
Class starts tomorrow!
See you around the globe!