How am I stil able to speak? I think I haven’t shut my mouth since I stepped aboard this ship on Saturday. Today I’ve had what – six meetings? Plus my classes, plus I still need to eat, sleep and study a little bit! It’s amazing how much people are excited, worried, or just interested in Russia.
Questions, questions, questions. Where to go? What to eat? How to behave? What vodka to buy? Is it dangerous out there? What about the people of color? Do they kill gays? And how about the police? I keep explaining and telling stories. You know, after all some of Russian compulsory education makes sense – I know bits of this and that, and I can mainly converse on every topic connected to my country. I took part in the presentation we made tonight with Dmitry (the journalism professor) and Michael, the architecture professor. It was lots of fun. The thing was called “Cultural preport”, where every time before arriving to a certain port the students and the shipboard community are told about the culture and history of the place they’re visiting. Tomorrow we’ll give two presentations, one with my fellow Russian students about the food, traditions, and general stuff to do; and another for Logistical preport which is about getting around in the city. And I’ve got… what? Seven meetings planned?! Plus two classes, plus, again, I need to eat… and plan, plan, plan. This place is crazy, it’s so full of action and of enthusiasm and of this greed for change and for more. I can’t imagine that on September 1, which is when the Russian classes usually start, I’ll be probably walking a crowd of SAS students down the Nevsky Prospect or whatever instead of sitting at my school, listening to mainly same old song, with nothing happening around. And you know, that feeling when suddenly you call your teachers “professors”, just like in those Harry Potter movies… I still do not quite realize how lucky I am to be here, but I’m already truly grateful to people who made it possible for me, who saw something worthy in me. The adventure just begins.