Monday, July 9, 2007

First week - Friday, 6/29

It was decided that on Fridays, in lieu of a lecture, we'd have an "airing of grievances" in English. The best part of this was as follows:

Andrew: "That first lecture, the economics one, that Nikita Maslennikov--"
Anna Maslennikova: "Yes, he is my husband"
Andrew: "--was absolutely great, I enjoyed it a lot!"

This was of course the lecture that I mentioned from Monday which no one really understood very well. After the laughter died down we more seriously discussed the difficulties including grammar, which evidently was a difficulty for all the groups.

After the meeting we had a tour around Peter and Paul Fortress, and inside the Peter and Paul Cathedral, which was nice, as it was something I didn't get to see very much (except insofar as it's a large landmark, visible from most of the city), and after the tour we went to a concert there by a male choir which I enjoyed. It was actually in a room inside the fortress wall (it was moved, to hilarious effect, at the last minute). It was packed, and as I left, they handed out these small laminated placards (the size on the order of a few postage stamps) which read "АНТРАКТ" / "ANTRAKT" in Latin and Cyrillic. I thought this was the name of the choir, until next week when we were at the theater, when I asked someone how to say "intermission," and, you guessed it, it's "antrakt" is Russian, at which point I realized that it was probably a reentrance ticket. Why they felt the need to write the Russian word in the Latin alphabet, rather than giving the English word, is beyond me.

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