yesterday class was fun, as usual. we went over a lot of nouns i've never learned before. then our teacher introduced us to one of her students, Vlad. he's a medical student and graduates next month. he took us girls (the boys went somewhere else) around town and to the Summer Garden. his english is only a little better than our russian, so it was fun/good to talk with him. then...the students and Maj Walters all went to the Tikhoff, an S-Petersburg brewery. very expensive by Russian standards. my dinner and glass of wine cost $10. after that....we went to the Mussorgsky Theatre and watched "Bayaderka," a new ballet. it was pretty good, but we had balcony seats. i could only see half the stage. when we get tickets for Swan Lake i hope we get better ones. after the ballet we had some dessert and raced home (the metro closes at midnight). it was so cold. i wore a skirt with nylons, and put socks on over the nylons....and i was still freezing. i can't believe i brought two pairs of sandals. what was i thinking? today is cold too, but i didn't care about looking American...we're going to the Hermitage after class...i didn't want to wear uncomfortable shoes...jeans and running shoes today.

all day long, every day, i wonder..... do they think i'm American? do they recognize immediately i'm not Russian? do i stick out even before i open my mouth?
it's not like Japan...there it was no question of whether they could tell i was a native or not... here...they probably know. why kid myself?

tonight we're all planning on going to a "diskotyeka" --- a dance club. should be interesting and fun. tomorrow some of us might go to Novgorod. i really want to go... it's the oldest city in Russia. it has really awesome archetecture and a kremlin (fortress).

need to write my paper....so i'm off to the corner cafe. i don't know when i'll be online again. maybe Sunday.

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