City Day

Trip Start May 30, 2011
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Flag of Russia  , Siberia,
Sunday, June 26, 2011

First I'm going to mention a few things from last night. I was meeting the group at the van stop (цветной проезд) at 21:30 to head out to Novosibirsk. I wanted to print a picture at the Trade Center so I left the apartment around 20:15. On the way there these two guys were goofing off while crossing the street at Morskoi Prospekt. They were going the opposite direction than I was and I had trouble going around them. When I was further down the street almost to the TC I casually noticed them walking in my direction. They started to talk to me. They came all that way in the other direction to apologize. I asked why they came back all that way and they said they were just walking and had no destination in mind anyway. So they asked if I wanted to sit with them at the fountains and drink juice. The TC had already closed and I had nothing else to do so I agreed. They were nice people. Their names are Igor and Dima.When I told them my name naturally I also had to say where I was from. When I told them i was from America, they thought that was neat and spoke a little English, though we spoke in Russian almost the entire time.They had just graduated the university physics department.Then they walked me to the vans when it was my time to go there.

Then I met up with Zhenya (girl), Cao Lei, and guy from Korea. I sat in the hot spot in the marshrootka. I handled all the money, figured change, and communicated with the driver. I hate sitting there. It took about an hour to get to Novosibirsk. Then we walked to the movie theater "Победа/Victory" and meet Dasha. We bought tickets to Ночной Експресс/Night Express, where you see three of the best films in one night. It starts at midnight and often doesn't get out until 6am. So after we got our tickets we walked around and went to some restaurant because Cao Lei wanted meat. The theater was awesome. It looked more like an opera theater than a movie theater. All three films were not Russian originals and were dubbed. Two of the films were just awful... blood and guts type movies. The other movie was awesome! It was called Девичник в Вегасе/Bridesmaids, which I really wanted to see in America. It was super hilarious! After the films we waited for the metro to open at 6:00am and then took the marshrootka home. It was the earliest route and the van wasn't full and everybody was sleeping. But because the van wasn't not completely full the driver stopped at every stop in case there were passengers he could pick up. This made it hard to sleep on the van because it was always jerking in and out of traffic. One guy at the very end of the van, who fell asleep against the back door. At one point the van came to a sudden stop and this guy came flying two seats ahead and into Zhenya's and my laps. He didn't even wake up until we lifted him from the floor, and half asleep he said, "Oh, excuse me" and his friend could stop laughing at that response the rest of the way back.

And then it's back to Novosibirsk after zero hours of sleep. We meet up at 11:00am to go to Novosibirsk's Lenin Square to celebrate City Day, our city's birthday. Our city is very young, only 118 years old. The main streets were all blocked off and the streets became very festive. There was the standard carnival food, entertainment, rides, music, and a big market set up. Today was a good day for squirrels. At the market was a cute Russian squirrel in a cage flipping out, and on my walk home I got a photo of another squirrel in the trees (but unfortunately this one did not have the Russian ears). Also something cool I did was make a coin. There were metal circles and this apparatus set up that when you pound the coin in the middle it engraves the coin. See the video.

I'm also meeting the guys I met yesterday this evening at the TC in Akademgorodok. I think there will be more City Day celebration here in the evening time.
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