Monday, September 19, 2005

How far would you walk?

I think Spencer and I walked about a mile and a half to find this internet cafe.... we just stumbled across it. We were laughing about me telling him to remember "we have to turn left at the big hamburger on the way home!" and I looked across the street and there it was! Just like in Rome this one in downstairs. Why do some people think us computer nuts like to be in basements? At least this one is well lit!

It is designed to look as if you are in a submarine. Very clever... I feel silly sitting here at this station. I feel like Captain Nemo is watching me from somewhere!

The bus ride was quite an adventure.
The first time we went through passport control was leaving Krasnodar.
I dropped somethings as I was getting my passport out and the militsia picked it up for me. I thanked him and he said "you are welcome." He stared at Nathan's passport for a long time and then gave it back. But, he took this guy from the back of the bus off for questioning. The second stop was a little more exciting. Tom had to be awakened by the militsia... I did'nt know he was asleep back there. And his passport was carefully scrutinized... but the same guy as before was taken off for questioning. The bus driver asked him if he was a foreignor! The answer was this was normal. Spencer thinks he was from Daghestan... he kind of looks like our friend Murat.

From the bus we saw some vegetable stands Nathan and I could not believe the size of these cabbages. They were the same as a large watermelon! It was unreal.

When we got to Novorosissk I forgot to take in my toilet paper when I got off the bus. Yes our friend Kurt gave us a roll of toilet paper for the trip. We did not know we would need one. So I went to a market to purchase another before heading off to the ladies room. Well it did not matter that I had my own roll. I still had to pay the attendant 5 rubles for a strip of her paper just to get in! 5 rubles is what I paid for a whole roll...

Anapa was gorgeous I wish we could have stayed.

We got to the ferry and of course this time it was us who got pulled out of the line. We chose the lady who had never seen visa extensoins before and she did not know how to enter the dates on our passports. So the superviser was called out. Well the ferry was held for the AMERICANS and until then no one onboard the bus knew we were the AMERICANS. We try hard to balance speaking English and Russian and just being quiet! Once I the last to arrive came onboard; everyone who could speak English was using us for practice!!!!

The couple in front of Nathan and I have a daughter in the States for an exchange program. She asked me how to say daughter in English. She was speaking Ruglish... the half English/ half Russian that we still do some times if we don't know the Russian word. Only she was speaking English and throwing in Russian when she did not know the English word!

Anyway once we got across to the Ukrainian side we went through passport control again!!!!!

The busdriver and the militsia collected everyone's passports and when they brought them back they did it roll call style the first time the busdriver came to a name he could not pronouce he just yelled the country "Ukraine!" Someone yelled "here" it was funny. He told our family there would be a delay everyone groaned.... then he said it was just a joke; the computer was slow and they would be out in just a minute! Six months of immersion in the Russian culture and language and everybody is a commedian with us now!

We love Ukraine; it is very pretty here. And everyone speaks clearly and precisely like Lena. so we can understand what they are saying. It helps having a Ukrainian language helper. Her Russian is great. In Krasnodar the accent is lazy and the speak is unclear. Can you imagine learning English in the remote hills of the south somewhere! That is where we are comparatively!

When we arrived at church Tom told the taxi driver he thought this was the right one... the taxi driver told him this was "exactly the right church.... there is only one baptist church here in town." There are apartments behind it. And for 15$ person we get two rooms and 2 meals a day! Not a bad deal... our friends Kurt and Rochelle have stayed here with their kids. They came to our rescue once again!

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