Monday, March 16, 2009


Оk so the title says, "I LOVE KIEV AND RUSSIAN AND BABOOSHKAS AND EVERYTHING HERE!!!!" If you can't guess I'm really happy with life right now. Kiev pretty much is my favorite place ever and I can't remember why a month and a half ago I ever didn't like it. Oh yeah, I've been here two months which I have decided is not a reason to celebrate since it means I am a month closer to going home, not that I don't want to come home I just don't want to be done with Kiev.
So, monday I told the maintenance kids futures with the cards like the kings game. It was great. I wore my headscarf like a gypsy and we found out that Liza loves Misha. Valera is going to kill his brother and marry his sister in law. And I'm meant to marry Valera so maybe I'm the sister in law. It gave us lots to talk about and was awesome.
Tuesday, was a really happy day. I got to chat with Deidre and Sarah which was great. I played with Styopa and Vanya got ticked with me because I was singing while he was trying to do homework. His ticked voice is really cute. Then we had варенки с капустой. Maybe my favorite thing here. Then I played with Stypoa and was making different birdcalls. He did not want to go to bed but Natasha said he had to. He said, "Я спи сууууда!" (Styopian for I will sleep here) and he lay down on Sima (the cat) and waved his hand for me to continue entertaining him. Natasha and I could not contain our giggles. Finally he got off to bed and I helped Vanya with his math which was hard because Russians do everything differently so I had to translate the problems into American and then figure out what to do.
Wednesday, I woke up and the sky looked like the Ukrainian flag outside my window and it was actually warm. I went with Megan and Amanda to souvenir street. I got a Ukrainian shirt!!! I can now actually look like I'm out of a Russian fairy tale. It's way way way cool with the national pattern of Ukraine embroidered up and down the sleeves. I had a bunch of people compliment me on my taste in lacquer boxes again though I think it really annoyed them because I really liked looking but I clearly didn't have the money to buy the ones I was looking at. And I was actually thinking I might buy one so I was only pointing at the small ones. But I have a knack for picking out Soviet master miniature painters whose work cost hundreds of dollars at any size. I think I'm going to talk to Eugene about getting some blank dolls and stuff and painting my own. We wandered into St Andrew's Catherdral where they were ordaining a new priest. It was way cool to watch. After that we went down artist's alley and Megan and I were art nerds together critiquing the compositions and lauding the techniques. Then we went up through the park down to Khreshadik where we caught the metro back to the school. At the school, Megan and I freaked Audrey when we had a half Russian conversation about our plans for the next day. "Ты хочешь идти в пошта?" "Что?" "Пошта." "When?" "Зафтра." "Да, да!" "Хорошо." (Do you want to go to the post office? What? Post office. When? Tomorrow. Yes! Okay good.) Audrey just stared at us like you all are insane. That night we had shashlik that Vova had made! YUM!!!! Vanya was quizzing me on words in Russian. I knew a lot of them which frusterated him because he wanted to know more than me. So then he started asking random words he knew but I didn't like moon. I turned around and asked him 'fridge'. He said, "I do not know. But you don't know in Russian" I said, "Actually I do. Холодилник!" He was way impressed and every 5 minutes for the rest of the meal he would ask, "What is word?" And point at the fridge. And I would say, "Fridge, Vanya" And he would repeat it to himself a few times before going back to eating. He's such a funny kid. Natasha and Sasha also had a funny converstation about Lenin that night. Sasha kept trying to hold her hand out like Lenin and Natasha would say, "Нет! Это Гитлер!" (No! That's Hitler!!!) The idea of making Lenin look like Gitler (that's how they say it here) was really offensive to Natasha. She and Sasha got into a discussion of whether or not Lenin was a good guy. Sasha's vote was that he was bad, Natasha was all for him though against Stalin. It was fascinating to listen to them. I love eves dropping here.
Thursday, I almost wrote that nothing happened, but no, something happens every day here. Thursday, we were singing Old McDonald and Kyrill was choosing the animals. He's just barely started with us so he doesn't know that much English so the other kids were whispering suggestions. Igor whispered "Zombie, zombie." Megan said, "Zombie is not an animal. It has to be an animal." So Igor started saying, "Zombie cat. Zombie cat." So Kyrill turned to me and said "Zoombie Kat". I said, "Okay." The other teachers and kids and stuff made "oooooh ooooh" sounds but I threw my arms up like a zombie and proceeded to make the sound of an undead cat. It was like a howl scream totally cat thing. All of the teachers started laughing so hard we could barely make it through the rest of the songs. The story is now famous because all of the teachers have been telling everyone how I did the most amazing zombie cat noise ever. They keep asking me to recreate it but I don't think I could if I tried. Zombie animals have now been banned from Little America School.
Friday, I went to Петривка a metro station with a book market. Megan's host mom had told us about it. We wandered up and down the rows of stalls of books and dictionaries, and DVDs. I got some stickers for my kids. We wandered for a loooooong time. and finally came to the end of the stalls. We turned to go back to the metro and saw there were more ROWS of books. We went into the used book area and found all sort of amazing things. We found books in every language. I got a book of Сказки that has Little humpbacked pony, firebird, Tsar Sultana, and a bunch of others in Russian. It's awesome. And I found a book of Skazki from the Urals that has malichite casket and such in English. I got both books for less than $2 from this little old man granted they are both old Soviet age books but they are awesome. Then we went to go get Megan a purse. She wanted the one in the window so I had to ask the lady if we could see it. Then the zipper was broken. Megan showed the lady who turned to me and said, "She wants this purse? I have it in other colors." When I said she really wanted the blue one, the lady said, "Ладно, часто." She tried to fix it but it didn't work so I she came back and started talking to me about going to see this master and waiting. And I said, "Maybe tomorrow?" She said no we should just wait a few minutes. She herded everyone out of her shop and motioned for us to follow her out. She took us over to this belt fixer guys shop and we waited while he replaced the zipper completely. It was very exciting. That night, Taylor played volleyball with Maintenance, so when I came to teach them, the whole room stunk of Ukrainian boy (most of it was coming from Vanya). I could hardly breathe. That night, I went home and got in the elevator with this guy that looked like a Russian mafia boss. Right as I got in he turned to me and said "What floor?" I thought, if I answer he'll totally know I'm American and kill me! If I don't answer he'll be frusterated and kill me! I decided to go with the answering option so I said, "Шестой." He pushed the six button and the doors closed. That was when I remembered our light in the elevator is broken. I had to stand in the dark with this terrifying big man and count the flashes of light as we past the different floors praying the whole time that I would make it out alive. When the doors opened. I leapt from the elevator. I think the mafia boss dude probably just thought I was weird but I was terrified.
Saturday, I got up early, I could hear Styopa calling me through the door but I had wedged it shut with a shirt. I got up to let him in and found I couldn't open the door. I called back, "Styopa I'm coming." as I tried to fight the door open. It was really stuck. Vova came and got Styopa and I was still fighting with the door. I couldn't figure out how to tell him I needed him to push on the door so I just had to keep fighting with it. Finally I got it open and went off to the Relief Society party. It was fun. Then Megan and I went to the Украина mall. Where I found Анастасия (Anastasia!!!!!) We went tot the end of the red line to the market. We wandered for a long time in the slush. When we finally found the building, we were exhausted. We wandered through a few rows of very very very Russian coats (if I was staying here, I would totally get one but I think I'd stand out at BYU) then we found a bench and flopped down next to some babushki and people watched. We finally mustered the strength to walk and went back out to the real market and bought a kilo of cookies because we were stupid Americans and I don't know how to stay a fourth of a kilo so the lady got confused and just gave us a kilo. Fortunately they were AMAZING!!! I am currently eating a Ukrainian Tim Tam Slam (Passionate Kisses) with them and they are the best ever!!!!! I might have to bring back a kilo because they totally have even Tim Tams beat. They are thick cookies dipped in a lot of dark Roshen chocolate with little crunchies in it. YUUUUUUMMMMMMMM!!!!!! Take that with a glass of Milo...yum. Then we went to McDonald's for the free bathrooms (everywhere else here you have to pay and it's extra for toilet paper sometimes). Then we went to Palatz Ukraina where we met Anna and Misha (Megan's host family). They got in for free because some guy though Misha was cute (if only he knew...) We lucked out too and got 80hr tickets for 40 so we were sitting put close for 5 bucks. It was an awesome show, Украинский хор (Ukrainian Choir). But it wasn't just singing. They all wore traditional costumes and did dances and we got to hear a bandoora (Ukrainian national instrument). It was AWESOME!!! Megan and I were taking lots of pictures. At intermission I heard the guy next to us say, "The girls next to us are foreigners." At the end of the show we got up to leave and he cornered us in the hall on the way out and was saying something about "страна" (country). I said, "Я не понимаю" (I don't understand) which is usually enough to get them to leave you alone. He repeated, "What country are you from? Latvia? Estonia? Oh! I know you're German!" I said, "О, мы американки!" (Oh, we're American) I was tickled pink that he wouldn't immediately assume we were American, though actually a lot of people think Megan and I are German maybe because more Germans come here than Americans or maybe because we aren't your typical obnoxiously loud Americans. Anyways, this guy asked us if we like the show and I said, "Да, это очень хорошо". We went home on the metro. Misha told us this story he made up. It totally sounded like a Russian fairy tale. He and I also had a discussion about Кназь Владимир which I totally want to get ahold of. He said he'd help me understand it. So we need to get together and watch it. That night, I watched the first part of Anastasia. It's awesome!!!!!! It makes me so happy.
Sunday, I got up early so I could ride back the three stops to the beginning of the green line so I could say I rode the whole thing in one shot. When I got back to our stop, a little babooshka got on and sat down next to me. She saw my notecards for Russian and said, "Oh I have those for German! What are you doing?" I said, "Я изучаю русский язык. (I am studying Russian.)" She looked at me and said, "На каком язык, вы говорите?"(What language do you speak?) I said, English and she went off about everything. She would lean over and pat my hand and whisper conspiratorially to me in Russian as if we were best friends. She told me all about how she was going to visit her brother who had the flu. She said, "Я буду сказать ему что я познакомусь американский преподаватель англиского языка кто зовут Аннилин. И она изучает русский язык." (I am going to tell him that I met an American English teacher who was named Annilyn and she's studying Russian.) But she said, "It's hard for us to say your name what is your Russian name. You should be named Elyena. That's my granddaughters name. It sounds like Annilyn, yes?" I have now, looked that up on a Russian baby name sight (you can't find Russian names on English sites) and Tanya (that was her name) was inspired because Elyena totally describes me. The first thing it said was, "Elyena loves fairy tales." So yeah, my name is now Елена (which is the name of the princess in the Firebird). Oh yea, so when she left, Tanya leaned over and said some long farewell patted my hand again. I said, "До свидания" and she left. Then, I went to church. I actually got to go to sunday school. When I went home, I made Key Lime Pie. They all were fascinated. After I baked baked it, Vanya stuck a knife in it and then licked it and you saw his face light up. Later, when he actually got a piece he was pulling all sorts of controrted sour faces. I said, "Is it good or not?" He said, "Yes?" Sasha said, "Vanya, you dork. She said, Хорошо или плохо и ты сказал ДА" He said, "It's so sour I can't think." It's was funny. I also watched Anastasia with them in Russian with English subtitles. It was funny because we got to the "There's A Rumor in St. Petersburg" and Sasha said, "This isn't Russian, is it?" They also thought it was funny to have Rasputin sell his soul to the devil and cause the Revolution. That's giving his role way too much importance. When we finished they said, "That was...interesting."
This morning, I got to listen to Barratino (Russian Ponochio) told to Styopa. It was really fun.

1 comment:

Deedles said...

Oh Annilyn, I am so happy that you are having such a good time in Kiev. We got your beautiful postcard today and are going to hang it on the wall. We all gathered and read it aloud--so fun! Also I am using my blog now
just so you know. It was fun to talk to you on facebook! I was able to get through hectic midterms. Love ya,