Saturday, August 16, 2008

At Irina’s

Just like home

Today, it’s dad that wakes me up for breakfast. When I get up, Irina is still cooking. I sit down and take the issue of Géo that is on the table. I keep on reading the English article on Harvard that I started the day before, but I don’t have time to finish it because breakfast is ready. As for the English language, my level wasn’t bad, but now I think that it has considerably improved. Since the beginning of the trip, I speak English all the time (except with dad with whom I speak Persian or French). I feel more and more comfortable, especially since dad gives me a lot of responsibilities; he gives me missions that force me to communicate and find the information I need. Then, dad asks for a few Russian specialties for breakfast and we walk to the cyber café. It’s the weekend so it won’t open before 11 o’clock, so we walk a little in the city. We arrive in a street that seems to be commercial, but it’s deserted since it’s too early. So we decide to take a taxi to an aquarium where they are showing sea lions playing among themselves. We look for a taxi and even though we make signs with our hands, none seems to notice us. Finally, one sees us and takes us. I show the driver where we want to go on a map we bought the day before for Irina and he tells us he knows where to go. He takes us. We end up in front of a small place where a lot of children are waiting for the show to begin. Five minutes later the show begins. Two sea lions turn, play with a ball and a saxophone in a pool. The children are happy. At one point one of the sea lions begins to paint and it’s quite surprising. But the most astonishing thing is to see dad raise his hand when the painting is auctioned off and he wins it. We leave the aquarium to get the painting, and then go for a walk to find a taxi. Ahead, there’s a kind of flea market that begins with fruit sellers and then various objects, but we don’t buy anything. The market ends with merchants selling dogs. In this market, noise from the exchange of money between buyer and seller mixes with the noise from steps and of negotiations, shouts from merchants who don’t want us to film them and also dogs barking. We film them anyways and take lots of pictures. We keep looking for a taxi, but we don’t find one. Finally we come back on our steps and find one. He takes us to Irina’s who prepared lunch for us. Dad is glad to see these dishes that he really likes. We eat quickly and go back out to send mom my texts by Internet, but there’s a problem with my USB key and it didn’t save the texts. I am really disappointed. But I still do some research. We go and dad pays but what’s surprising is that in Russia they make you pay for the videos you watched.

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