Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Here comes the Sun: My Vacation in Austin

Let me tell you about the amazing vacation I had over the weekend with my boyfriend, Nat. After he was accepted into the University of Texas at Austin's Law School, we planned a weekend get away to visit the school to get a feel for the life in Texas. Boy howdy, did Austin deliver.

I was maybe more excited than Nat because I have some great friends who live in Austin. We spent Thursday evening with our Berkeley friends, John and Corey. They took us to a popular Tex-Mex Restaurant and then with our stomachs full we headed home. We watched Men who Stare at Goats. It was a very mellow night spent in lovely company.

Friday, while Nat checked out the law school, I was thrilled to be shown around Austin by my AOII hero, Ginger Banks. She used her Texas charm to get us through private roads on campus in her car. I got a tour of the campus from my very own UT graduate. Then we went to an amazing lunch on Lake Travis called Oasis. What a beautiful view!! After being convinced that central Texas has lakes, trees and hills, I was dropped off at my hotel.

That night, Nat and I grabbed dinner at a local Thai place on 6th Street and then met up with some other UT admitted students for a few beers. Good to know that we get along with the people we might be in acquaintance with for the next three years. Eventually, my good friend Will who I used to work with at Health Diagnostics met up with us. He took me out to some of the clubs on 4th Street and had an amazing time dancing the night away!

Saturday and Sunday, Nat and I explored more of Texas. We went to the Barton Hot Springs - a popular natural hot spot where people go swimming. Imagine - swimming in an unheated body of water in March! After walking back to our hotel, we got ready to go to the Alamo Draft House, a local theatre that serves food and beer. We watched the surprisingly funny Hot Tub Time Machine and eat chili and drank Texas' beer, Lone Star. On the walk back to the hotel, we witnessed the famous bat colony emerge from beneath the bridge into the evening sky. What a site! That evening, we ate at Stubs. We ate like kings and after gorging ourselves with BBQ, we caught a cab home and passed out.

So, how does this relate to my Trans-Siberian Journey? Well, after my quest of self-realization, I have to live somewhere, don't I? Why not live in an exciting and vibrant city the resembles Berkeley, expect rent is actually manageable. Unfortunately, I think that my Spanish skills will be more useful than my Russian skills.

and... I will not be translating this one... just yet.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gunman tries to attack Lenin's Corpse

Thought I would share this was entertaining news:


"My main demand is the quick bulldozing of the mausoleum which contains the body of the anti-Christ," he said. "I wanted to open fire on the tomb with an assault rifle but I was advised not to do that in case the tomb is armour-plated."

I have this vision of the gunman saying, "Ленин - Ну, блин, ты даёшь!" Roughly translated: "Lenin, you suck!"

See loyal readers, learning Russian phrases can be fun! ;)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Откройте дверь!! Полиции Сан Франсисо! : Open the door!! San Francisco Police!

Сегодня, я пошла на спортзал и потом я гуляла домой. Когда я была близко от моей квартиры, я увидела три полицейских машинах. Что случилось?? Я болновалась что может быть были проблемы с моей квартирой! Были многи ментов, у которих были оружие! Я не хотела заморочиваться с разборкой! Во всяком случае менты позволенный я входила. Они поднялись на первый этаж, где я тоже живу. <<Откройте дверь!! Полиции Сан Франсисо!>> Мои соседи наконец вышли из квартиры, и они были шлепнутой рукой. Я слушала их, и думаю что мои соседи слезали с иглы! Менты спрашивали, <<У вас есть какие-нибудь иглу? Вы ни-когда не были арестованно?>> Фиг!! Я не познамомилась моих нових соседков, но я уже знаю что они лохи! То есть... они - наркоманы. Но, кто нет?? Ведь, это - Сан Франсиско! Потом, мне пора и принимала душ. Когда я закончила, они уже уехали. Мне кажеться, что они были арестованы. Кроче говоря, эти - мои соседи!

Today, I left the gym and afterwards I walked home. When I was close to my apartment, I saw three cop cars. What happened?? I was worried that maybe there was a problem with my apartment. There were many cops who had guns! I did not want to get caught up in some sort of showdown! In any case, the cops allowed me to enter. They went to the first floor, where I also live. "Open the door!! San Francisco Police!" My neighbors finally exited from the apartment, and they were handcuffed. I listened to them and I think that my neighbors were coming off drugs. The cops asked, "Do you have any needles? Have you ever been arrested?" Damn!! I don't know my new neighbors, but I already know that they are losers! That is...they are drug addicts. But, who isn't?? You see, this is San Francisco! Afterwards, I had to go and take a shower. When I was finished, they had already left. It appears to me that they were arrested. So in short, these are my neighbors!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Translation: Sports Need Complete Treatment

So, my goal is to write in both Russian and English so I can get my practice in, but also allow my loved ones to also follow along. Here goes a rough translation of the article I wrote about yesterday:

Today I listened and read this article about sports. We all know that Russia did very poorly during the Olympic Games this year, but why?? They said that their performance was so poor, because the eat a lot of McDonalds. Interesting... but this article has emphasized that these athletes do not have anywhere to train. In earlier years, Russia was a world leader in winter sports. Russian athlete achieved greatness. Has Russia lost its determination? We do not know, but it is interesting that the article mentions that very few children want play sports.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Спорту нужно комплексное лечение


Сейгодя я слушала и читала ету статью о спортомe. Мы знаем, что Россия выступала очень плохо в течение олимпийских игр, но почему?? Cпортсмены говорили, что преформатце их выступление было так плохо, потому что они питались как в Мак Доналдс. Интересно... но эта статья подчеркнула, что спортсмены не знают, где пренипроваться. B предыдущих годах, Россия былa мировым лидером в зимних видах спорта. Русскии спортсмены достигали великих результатов. Лишилась Россия ли её величия? Мы не знаем, но интересно что в статье сказанно, что очень мало детей хотят заниматься спортом.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Well, how do you prepare for what could be the most epic adventure of your young life. I have been on many amazing trips and vacations across the USA and world, but some how this one feels different. Usually I am staying in a luxurious 5 star hotel with my love by a sunny beach. I get to hold sharks, drink pina coladas under an umbrella and get the tan that lasts all year. Although Siberia won't be the frozen edge of the world people usually think of when they hear the word "Siberian," it's not exactly the vacation of a life time.

When the idea to materialize this crazy trip I have long dreamed of, I finally decided to crack down. If anyone was holding me back in anyway, it is me. What a clique concept, no?
Step one: Resolve to go alone or find someone as crazy as you who is willing to go with you
Step two: Buy a travel book. I purchased for this trip: Trans-Siberian Handbook by Bryn Thomas. It had better reviews on Amazon and was cheaper than the Lonely Planet
Step three: Start studying!

I started reading the Trans-Siberian book I bought and started making my travel route. Then, I realized that in order to meet and talk to all the interesting people I hoped to meet along my journey, I would have to get an even better grip on the language. I started translating articles on my own on my spare time, but I needed something more. That's when James and I decided we could take some private tutoring lessons together in order to prep for the trip.

So far I have had 1 lesson and love it! We are using internet articles, popular music and films to expand our vocabulary. Which is what leads me to my current activity: watching a movie called Жара (Heat).

Сейчас я смотру филмь, который называется Жара.

первый раз

Привет! Это - мой первый раз, пишущий на русском языке здесь. я решила написать, когда я свободна о моей транс-сибирской поезке. я знаю, что ето будет трудно. я сожалена, трудно ли ето для Вас читать. Может быть когда-нибудь, Вы не поверите что я родилась в Калифорнии и что испанский язык был моим первым языком!

Значит, позвольте, что я рада писать для вашего удовольствия чтения!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Where to begin? Since I was in high school, I have had this unexplainable interest in Russia. It was a strange fascination that became an obsession. At Berkeley, I had the pleasure of studying Russian for 2 years. I spent hours studying the political and economic reasons why the Soviet Union fell, the effects of communism, as well as the never ending Russian verbs of motion. I'll be honest, by the time my senior year rolled around, I was so sick of Russia and my political economy major, I completely ran the other way.

Separation anxiety to go me... all too quickly. I found myself craving for my next fix of Russian. Although I lived in the second most Russian neighborhood in San Francisco, I was scared to explore. I was eventually inspired to enroll at SF City College, and to my amazement, my fabulous new apartment in the Castro was only half a mile from the classes I enrolled in.

I parachuted into Intermediate Russian Conversation in the Fall, and quickly spotted a like minded individual who seemed as proficient yet out of practice as I was! I never would have suspected that this venture capitalist would become a friend that will travel with me along the longest railroad in the world.

After many twists and turns, I have resolved now is the time to travel the world and explore the vast country of Russia and see for myself what Siberia holds. My Russian tutor, Olga, urged James and I to start a blog to talk about our trip, the planning, and best of all... to practice writing in Russian. Now, the tricky part, can I get my point across in the language I have been having an affair with for the past 4 years? I hope you are as excited as I am to find out!