Well, spring, in all of its muddy glory, has come to Russia. Like all other cities located in northern climates, spring has turned Tol'yatti into a concrete marshland. Now I know why Russian women wear high heels: it's so that they can ford the rivers (aka streets) and stand around in swamps (the bus stops) without getting their feet wet. I too have begun to embrace this habit. My other (non-heeled) winter boots have leaky soles, so they have been banished to the closet after one too many damp socks episodes. After growing up in Alaska I'm very familiar with the effects that melting snow can have on a landscape, but the difference is that in Alaska I didn't have to walk through it all the time. In Sewanee, spring meant daffodils, sunny days, and no coats. I've been so spoiled the last few years!

I've had this brilliant idea for the last few months to bring my US cell phone with me so that I can take sneaky pictures without feeling extremely conspicuous, but I've just now started carrying through with it. The disastrous road conditions that a severe lack of a drainage system has caused are something that's definitely worth documenting. Unfortunately, I always seem to be running late when it's light out. Seriously, it's like there's some sort of paranormal force that holds me in my apartment and makes me late. I know for a fact that I need 20 minutes to get to work..25 if I want to be a little bit early. Then, right as I start putting on my shoes and coat and putting things in my bag, time starts to go by twice as fast, while I suddenly am unable to move faster than a 90 year old woman. So, by the time that I'm finally out the door, I find myself with only 15 minutes and have to sprint (/walk briskly..I can't actually sprint on slush in heels) to the bus stop and pray that numbers 121 or 146 come immediately...and curse them silently when they don't. Then there's the school elevator, which is itself a force to be reckoned with. There are 4 elevators, but according to my studies, only 1 moves at a time, and then it is morally obligated to stop at every single floor. Naturally my classes are all on the 8th floor.

I've been really jealous lately of all my friends back home who are on spring break. So jealous that I've had to make my own. Sort of. Not really. Actually, I'm just going to Moscow to take the GRE. It does, however, mean that I get to miss a week of school and see some cool people! I've been getting spring fever lately and a bit worn out, so this break will be greatly appreciated. It's hard being a celebrity. I'm also tiring of city life. Did  you know that it is never ever completely dark in my apartment? For some reason the drapes in my living room are only for decoration and don't cover the whole window, so there's always light coming in. Every now and then I'll see a star, but that's pretty rare. There's also always noise. And my upstairs neighbors have been remodeling for over a month now. Seriously, how much stuff can they change? These apartments aren't exactly big.

Now I need to get ready and go. That's my complaint about spring for the day. I'll try to get pictures soon.

Just tell me this picture doesn't make you smile


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Good news: no more required disclaimer!
Bad news: I'm really lazy about posting when I'm not in Russia