The weather was amazing today! Warm and springy (not like a sponge, like the season). We went to the Hermitage, where all of our feet hurt. I was impressed with one guy from our group who reeked of alcohol, but who stood through the entire 3 hour tour (a 3 hour tour!).* There was serious attrition of the group. First off, about 5 people stayed home entirely, hungover, despite having paid 16 euros for the tour. Second of all, people got bored looking at pictures of the baby Jesus and wandered off to do their own thing. Christine was disappointed not to see more Russian art, but hopefully we will have time to go to the Russian State Museum on our last free day before the train.
*Yes, that was a reference to Gilligan's Island
Then we went to a Georgian restaurant with a huge group, which predictably (though we held out hope otherwise) took forever. The group asked me lots of questions about the menu, which I could not answer. Christine and I got a pretty good variety of veggie appetizers, and I had a glass of wine for some reason. She had some "Georgian vodka." It was called chub-chub or something. Wait, no, that was Andy's hamster that probably had diabetes. I guess this was called chacha.
I came home to work on my essays, but fell asleep for about 10 hours. I realize Christine has done me a wonderful service by being wide-eyed about all things Russia, and keeping me from taking naps in the afternoon. She did a better thing than I by taking advantage of the afternoon sunshine. But sometimes you just have to take a 10 hour nap, wake up at 2am, and work on your midterm that you somehow didn't get out of despite being in MFing RUSSIA!
I can't believe I'll be home in a week. I can't believe I've been here a week. We've done so much in that week, I feel like.
In other non-Russia news, the CIA wrote me back about my job application, and I might have the option for a few fellowships. They might send me back to India, which I'm still very ambivalent about. I have also nearly finished my application for the fellowship I hope to get next Fall, which would allow me to put off the end of my schooling for one more semester. I am less ambivalent about this fellowship, though nervous about my chances of getting it, and nervous about my appropriateness if I do get it.
One thing about traveling in a group is you have about 10 pictures of you taken a day. Which means you should always look your best, which is annoying and difficult for me. Good thing I brought my makeup (I almost didn't). There are a lot of cute people on this trip, and I don't want to look too hideous next to them.
3 days ago