Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Russia Day 9 - Sick Leave

And hello again!

It's 15:43 right now, and I'm typing to you from an internet cafe across the street from our hotel. I'm starting to feel better (finally), but I'm still coughing, so Nadia told me to take another day off to get well. No contaminating the orphans, I suppose.

I was up and dressed this morning on time, just in case I could go out on the placements, so I decided to go for a walk around town instead. Besides, Rose and I both did laundry last night and together we had raised the humidity of the room quite a bit with our hanging, drying clothes everywhere.

I got on the tram outside the hotel (8 rubles a ride, or about 35 cents) and took it to the center of town. I walked over to a bookstore there and browsed for a while, eventually getting some postcards of Yaroslavl. From there I wandered through an outdoor market, over to the park near the Cathedral of Elijah the Prophet and found a bench to write postcards on. I walked to the monastery where I paid 15 rubles (35 cents) to enter the grounds. I had heard there was good souvenier shopping there, and they were right. I bought several items (300 rubles worth, actually), and managed to do it all in (highly limited) Russian. I used my Russian once again to mail the postcards at the central post office (I hope they get to America, at least), then stopped by a pharmacy to get some toilet paper. Yes, the hotel has toilet paper, but the maid will not give us a new roll until we have exhausted the old one. Between my cold and Rose's allergies, we have run out of tp mid evening twice now, so I figured I would stock up.

After getting slightly turned around, I walked back to the tram stop, caught the #3 going back, and returned to the hotel just in time for lunch. Today we had cole slaw, borsch (soup made with beef, onions, cabbage, and beets, topped with sour cream), half a roasted chicken breast, mashed potatoes, a sweet roll, and an orange. The lunches here, like Europe, are the main meal of the day. We always get four course lunches like that, while dinner is much lighter. And, of course, there are always the potatoes.

And now I'm here. Rose and Yen are typing away near me, as is Mary, another member from our original group. I think I'll go to the grocery store next, then back to the hotel for a nap. I'm worn out, actually, so maybe it's a good thing I stayed behind again today. Tomorrow is a field trip to Rostov to visit a monastary and an enamel factory, so I hope this cold moves on it's way quickly.


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