Closed towns, Siberian herbs and fur hats

City walks through Krasnoyarsk are great. I take a different road each time and see new things every day, where I wouldn’t expect them. Chiseled soldier sculptures in housing entries, electrical boxes with cookie paintings, supermarkets with joker-mosaics and portraits of Russian olympic champions are waiting behind the very next corner, if you’re just willing to go and take a look.

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Potato “graves” and bubbly cold soup

Not a graveyard, but a storage room. 🌟

I’ve learned a lot in these past days. My number one success: Having solved the mystery around those grave-like wood & metal structures scattered around Kopylova Street. When I saw them for the first time, on an otherwise empty grass patch next to a school nearby, I thought:

God.. what are they hiding down there? … Maybe it’s a ventilation system for an underground  parking lot?  Or a special kind of grave yard? Possibly one for pets?

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Discovering Krasnoyarsk

Woohoo, I’m back! It’s my fifth day in the city and I’ve already discovered some familiar places from five years back when I first traveled through Krasnoyarsk as part of a 2-week Russia trip. 

I’ve been wanting to learn Russian for a long time but having chosen Chinese as a major part of my studies & professional life, my brain and attention were blocked with tones, strokes, and characters for the past 10 years. Now I’ve decided to put my focus on Russian, aiming to learn it well (from almost zero). It still happens though, that I catch myself attempting to speak Russian with tones or wanting to use Chinese grammar, where it doesn’t belong. 

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Ice bucket challenge?! No, just Easter in Slovakia.

I took  of family whips (three different styles which each man cank make - at least one type).

I took a picture of family whips from willow tree (three different styles which each man/boy can make by himself – at least one type).

“Women hate Easter, men love it.”

Based on the headline probably it sounds a bit strange, but it is our tradition and I will tell you about it later. We celebrate Easter for 5 days – from Thursday until Monday. Every day has its name and importance: Holly Thursday (Green Thursday); Good Friday (Big Friday); Holy Saturday (White Saturday); Easter Sunday and Easter Monday in Slovakia. This year Easter Monday was on 12th April, but it is moveable holiday which depends on first Sunday after the first full moon and the spring equinox. Do you eat on Green Thursday something green too? Mainly spinach or different type of green vegetable.

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Abakan

A train from Krasnoyarsk to Abakan travels 400km. A ticket costs £10.20.A train from London to Edinburgh also travels 400km. A ticket costs £74.Which ticket is better value? Show your working.

My colleagues gave me a day off in return for working in the nursery in the mornings, so I decided to go to Abakan with Masha. Her and Max’s grandparents live there. Her grandma had already come to visit me and Max back in December, and we got on well. She was an English teacher in the rather provincial neighbouring region of Khakassia back in the Soviet Union, but she’d managed to go through her life without ever meeting a native speaker, which made me feel very special. I promised to go out and visit her before I left, and this was my last opportunity.

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You cannot enter this country

Border control

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is spreading around the Europe and all the world, but we did not expect it will end like this. We can see now messages “get home as soon as possible” or “tickets were cancelled” or “you are not allowed to enter the country because you are not citizen of it, or you do not have resident permit”. Yes, those sentences we read and heard last days.

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Taiga in Taiga?

Bogoroditse-Alekseyevskiy Muzhskoy Monastyr’

Bogoroditse-Alekseyevskiy Muzhskoy Monastyr’

How did my journey start to Tomsk? Before coming to Russia I had to do all documents etc. I got contact on 2 Slovaks in Tomsk, so I contacted them and we helped each other. They are volunteers in Tomsk by same program – European Solidarity Corps. Since then we are in everyday contact with one of them – but we were just in online contact – we have never met before, but we admited, we have to visit each other when we are so close (if we look on that distance with Russian eyes, not Slovak – then it would be too far away like from one side of Slovakia to another if we want to visit each other). As you can see on the pictures – on the left side there is Slovakia (connection of home towns) and Russia on the left (for comparison where we live now)

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Half here

What I was doing from January 16th as I came to Krasnoyarsk?

After two days I came, Julia offered us horse-drawn sledge ride in suburb of Krasnoyarsk. We dediced – yes for sure! Theo, Julia and me went to Julia’s house and later we were sitting on sledge surrounded by beautiful landscape. Julia was right when she said it will be cold there, because yeah it was but it worth it absolutely. Really beautiful view when two horses – son and daugther of horse who rode the sledge were running around. Awesome experience.

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Half there

Do you remember I wrote I had to prolong my stay in Slovakia and I was upset about it?

Yeah, the sign I saw in Moscow was right! Всё будет хорошо. Not only that but thanks for it that I stayed at home longer I could see my ex-classmate from high school after 6 years. You can not imagine how I was happy to see her because she lives in Scotland since we finished school. As you see, even it looked horrible at the beginning, everything was good in the end. But I have to admit it was long time being home so I really look forward going back to Krasnoyarsk!

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