Day 5 – In which we find the internets, and now they need to find us.
I had trouble sleeping last night, but class was good again today. We had a new (to me) teacher, who was also very nice. Wednesdays are my reading class, so apparently we read and go over (very) short stories, and then talk about them. So far she just let me be shy today, though I wouldn’t have minded reading so much.
It’s a little frustrating to be switching brains. If I didn’t like the people I was here with, it wouldn’t be a problem. But everyone’s so silly and funny that to get the jokes out we have to talk in English. So I wake up with my brain confused, am in English on the way to school, switch to Russian after a few minutes of class, and then emerge back into English slowly and confusedly when we meet after class to get lunch and go wandering. I hope we can all just start talking in Russian soon, because I hate to let that brain place go, and it’s also frustrating to be switching. It took me five minutes after class today to remember the word coincidence, and it was maddening.
Today we went with a bunch of my classmates to a little kebab kind of restaurant down the street from class, that was pretty good. If we go again, I’m going to get one of the sandwiches, because it has the Greek white sauce on it, and is less prone to attempts at identification than the exposed chicken bits on my kebab.
From there, the adventure to find the internets began. We walked and walked, back down the Neva where we were yesterday to the main St. Petersburg State University campus (which is weird and old and lovely), and scampered about. Eventually we found the lady, and set things up after filling out forms that were entirely in Russian (and confusing). And she told us to go next door to the building with the Kassa, and follow the directions, and then go back to her. We were thinking a Kassa was an office, where we were supposed to give someone our money and sign some more stuff. The people whose directions we asked for thought it was the campus “bank”, really a bookkeeping office, and after determining that the bank was indeed open we took the longish trek over there to find that the woman in the office had no idea what we were talking about.
Apparently, a Kassa is a kiosk thing that we have seen every day since we’ve been here. There is, in fact, one downstairs in our dorm. You put money in for your internet or phone card or whatever, and it...does magic, supposedly. We discovered that because after all that losting about, we went back to her the original office to find that the girl after us in line really knew what she was doing, and she showed us. I put money in, got a receipt, got an Ethernet cord from the woman in the office, and we left. Woof.
And after all that, it turns out that what we pay for is the kilobytes of space we use, or whatever. Space, downloading, something. (Stop all the downloading!) So I’ll post some pictures and see how much it costs, and then maybe just post the rest when we get home. We’re all going to be using my computer, because the whole thing was so abstract and confusing that we could not figure out how it worked. And they needed my passport for all that business, which makes me wonder if they’ll somehow be attaching the trail of websites I look at to my permanent record.
So now I wait in the tall grasses for the internet to come by (I guess I just leave it plugged in?) and when it does, I will leap out and grab it by the tail and wrangle it with the threat of giardia and this broken chair.