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> July 15-16, 2006 – Russian Shopping Sprees..., ...or "How do you say 'socks' in Russian?"
Misty_Nikula_Ohlsen
post Jul 17 2006, 07:31 PM
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July 15-16 – Russian Shopping Sprees
or How do you say “socks” in Russian?

So I will cut to the chase on one thing – my bag is not going to make it to Russia. sad.gif

Turns out that, probably before we even got to Russia, the airlines called my husband to tell him that my bag was in Los Angeles. Apparently, the claim tags had come off of it and they opened it up, found my name and phone number and called him to find out what to do with it. Of course, he tried calling our contact here in Russia, but couldn’t get anyone to whom he could communicate. He sent me an email about it, but I didn’t have access to email for a couple of days. Finally, he had to make a decision and since it would be worse for the bag to arrive here and for us to have already left on the ship, he decided that it was best to have it sent back to Bellingham. Of course, today, when I read his first email about the bag being in LA, I was elated! Then I read the next email about the bag being sent back to Bellingham and I was crushed again. So far Russia has been an emotional roller coaster. There is no way that the bag can get to us before we leave tomorrow, Monday. So I have come to grips with my losses and am moving forward. smile.gif

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The Internet Café were I learned that my things will not be making it to Russia.

I HAVE made good progress, however, replacing my things and have added to my Russian shopping repertoire. Yesterday and today, we went to Russian Bazaars to find things. The Russian Bazaars are strange and fascinating! There is everything that you could imagine and lots of it. It is kind of like a combination flea market, produce stand, meat market and farmer’s market. There is booth after booth after booth of clothing of every kind, shoes, toiletries, toys, meat counters, dried fruit, fresh fruit and vegetables, fish counters, household goods, etc. Most of which was made or grown in China and is nearly all the same. I wondered how the people who worked these stalls could make a living. There were so many and nearly all of their stuff was identical!

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A view of one part of the Russian Bazaar. There were probably several hundred stalls on aisles like this one, both inside and outside of buildings.

There were also little Babushka ladies with jars of fruit or homemade pies on top of cardboard boxes. Again, often whole rows of the same thing!

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The small produce stands on the edges of the Bazaar. Lots of strawberries!

Yesterday, Ben and Tolya helped me to find some Russian jeans that, while they are very jazzy, will be serviceable in the field. One pair has a series of buttons and red script down the leg and the other has purple piping and rhinestones across the pockets and a huge rhinestone button at the top of the fly. I have had to rig a belt from a backpack strap to help them stay up (they have a very low waist), but they will suffice.

Later, using just a piece of paper with the words written in Cyrillic and phonetically in western lettering and a Russian/English dictionary, Mike Etnier and I, managed to successfully purchase wool and cotton socks (sherstyanye noski = wool socks), some non-100% cotton shirts that didn’t have too many rhinestones or décor but do have a nice silky, shiny feel to them, some more hand lotion and conditioner, and seasickness pills. Score!

Last night we celebrated the birthday of Tanya, one of the Russian scientists from Kamchatka. Our entire group went to a local restaurant and had a traditional Russian party. That means that there was a lot of food and toasting. We had Russian “salad”, which consists of vegetables, meat with mayonnaise on top, a huge selection of raw and cooked fish and seafood, bread, fresh fruit and watermelon for appetizers. Then we had French fries and a pork cutlet for the main course. It was nice to have time with the whole group together before we head out and get so busy.

Today, most of the group headed down to Korsakov to move aboard the Gipanis and get settled in. They all piled onto a bus with the expedition and personal gear and headed out at about 11:30 or so. Jody, Ben and I will join up with them tomorrow since we still have a few things to take care of in town – like buying the rest of my supplies, putting more minutes on the satellite phone, finishing up the registration with the KGB and Russian Coast Guard, etc before the ship will leave tomorrow evening.

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It’s standing room only on the bus to Korsakov!

Jody and I went out to find the remaining essential items on my list – another shirt or two, sweatpants, gloves, flashlight and a towel. We found the biggest Bazaar yet and with our limited or (in my case) no Russian were quite successful. We even found a few extra items of use such as a knife and a pitcher in which to make coffee.

I continue to be amazed at simultaneous growth and limitations of my Russian vocabulary. I now know the following words:

Please and Thank-you
Excuse me
Yes and No
Big
Small
The numbers five, six and three
Socks
Knife
Shirt
Fish
Bread
Water
Light bulb
Pear

Pretty random. I still don’t know all of the Cyrillic letters and their sounds, but I am slowly taking that on as well.
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Misty_Nikula_Ohlsen
post Sep 8 2006, 06:46 PM
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So here's a task for you - be sure to tell your source!

At this time, I only knew how to say 5, 6 and 7 in Russian.

Find out how to say the numbers 1 through 10 in Russian and impress your teacher by counting with them!

Mrs. N-O
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