About Me

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French and Russian undergraduate student, trying my hand at the real world.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

To pass the gauntlet over for a second

In the course of my research for my project, I came across this excellent article, which I just had to share with you guys.

Dostoevsky's Dreamlike City - Telegraph

Also, for the benefit of my UK friends and family: I've booked myself a cheeky trip back to the UK for a couple of days at the end of the month! I'm far too excited about this. I think it will benefit my personal relationship with Peter considerably. (Feeling pretty despondent this week and my Erasmus money came through. Plus you can't put a price on sanity).

Resting on my laurels

Hello chaps,

So it's been a while since I wrote an actual blog post, for which I apologise. My recent surge in Russian readership has lead me to rest on my laurels somewhat, so I need to pick myself up.

I've frankly been rushed off my feet in recent days, due to the need for me to do my best tour guide/translator impression for the second time. This involved me negotiating a taxi in Russian from the airport and directing the driver along the streets of St Petersburg - this is not because of her lack of local knowledge, but because of a rather interesting problem - the sign for the hotel to which I was directing her was written only in English!  Being able to read Russian and English, I had not considered this, so it really made me think about the penetration of the Latin alphabet to cater to foreigners - at the expense of the locals. There is potential here for a long cynical essay about the perils of globalisation, but that's for another day.

One of the benefits of actually living in a place, which I think is underestimated in the UK, is the ability to take visitors to the city to locations off the beaten track of touristy and chain restaurants and places to visit. Sure, I went to the Hermitage, The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood and the Bronze Horseman, as it is true that any visit to St Petersburg is incomplete without visiting these places. However, having lived here for over two months, I was able to show off my favourite cafe, Kafema, where you can get spectacular hot chocolate that you have to eat with a spoon rather than drink. It also provided me with a cast iron excuse to visit my favourite Georgian restaurant, where they speak no English at all, to give my 'guest' a taste of something a little bit different.

I also had an experience which reconfirmed my love for babushkas - on walking past the Nikolsky Sobor, a babushka approached me talking rapidly in Russian. She was unable to zip her bag shut, so I gave her a hand. She was so overwhelmed she started issuing streams of Russian blessings and wringing her hands. Goodness knows, with the proximity to the cathedral, Chekhov would have had something to say about it... This short story is called The Student and is somewhat similar in content. (I'm going to award myself 50 Pretentiousness Points. And a gold star)

Otherwise, my life at the moment consists of research and coffee, which is another reason why I have not blogged much of late. Trying to work out what exactly to do with my life is proving time consuming ...

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

To clarify the cryptic nature of that last post...

I received some comments on some old postings by some Russian people, so I was intrigued as to what encouraged them. As it turns out, someone (user tomila02) found my blog post on Russian Manners and translated it and posted it on a Russian translators' forum. My traffic increased exponentially overnight - and literally overnight. To have received such a positive response from all the readers in Russian translation is incredibly humbling - but they picked me up on one or two oversights, so I just wanted to cover my back a bit in case anyone had got the wrong end of the stick!!


To just establish for a second: Please feel free to take this blog completely to pieces and correct me on EVERYTHING. Frankly, I love it!

Особенно, мне очень нравится когда вы переписываетесь по-русски...  ;)

To my Russian fans ;)


Добрый вечер, читатели из России! Сегодня, я получила много ваших комментов, и прочитала с интересом ваши мнениов на Форум на котором кого-нибудь написал  о моем Бложике.

Пожалуйста, понимаете что этот блог только состояет моего личного мнению и я просто хочу что люди думают, что это интересный а не оскорбительный . Я просто девушка а не знаток!

Понимаете, что каждый день, я откру для себя больше о России - все новый для меня.

И да, тоже, думаю сейчас что это ясно почему я не пишу по-русски...


Good evening, readers in Russia! Today I received a lot of comments and read with interest your opinions posted on the forum where someone linked to and translated my blog.

I just want to say that this blog is based solely on my views of Russia, as a self-confessed slavophile, from the perspective of a young English girl living in the country for a long period for the first time.  I have no life experience.  I do not claim to be an expert, or to be completely informed about everything I make a comment about. Everything I experience in Russia is new to me, I have only studied Russian and Russia for two years, so I frankly know nothing.

I welcome your comments and views, but please don't take anything I get wrong as offensive. I'm just completely ignorant!!

I hope you will find it interesting to read about my views on your country, as a foreigner living in it - and I want to thank you for even taking the time to click on this thing.