Well, I’ve made it safe and sound back to Arkhangelsk, after a wonderful whirlwind two weeks home for the holidays. This trip was considerably easier than the first one, knowing the airports I’d be going through, knowing what was waiting for me on the other end, and having a lot more confidence in the language– I even got to use my handful of Polish words at the Warsaw airport! So I arrived late on Orthodox Christmas Eve to an, as usual, extraordinarily helpful Elena and a white Archangel, waiting to welcome me eagerly back.
Today, Christmas Day, I awoke at 1 pm, and ventured out sometime afterwards to do the bare necessity of grocery shopping and putting money on my Internet modem. Even the cashiers at Sigma were cheerful today, which was either a good sign or some sort of sinister omen, or just a glimpse of holiday cheer. I spent the rest of the day eating, avoiding eating, eating some more, and luxuriating (or is it wallowing?) in the deep, warm pools of the Internet, from which I’d been cut off for some forty hours.
I watched TED talks, the movie Dogville I’d rented from iTunes a month ago, tried not to think about the work I should be doing, switched to Timeline on facebook. I had two tiny breakfasts and two mediocre dinners. No lunch. While boiling water for second dinner, I met a girl in the kitchen, a hotel guest, whose phone was broken, and who asked to use mine to call a number of friends and tell them her phone was broken. I understood most of what she said; she was preternaturally short and spoke extremely clearly.
No emotional insights today. I’m trying to avoid emotions, which isn’t going so well; along the lines, in fact, of my attempts to avoid jetlag, which also are failing, as you can tell if you’ve done the math and figured out that it’s almost 6 am here.
I’m reading The Hunger Games and so far am entranced.