Tuesday, 7 September 2010

"Время летит!"

Besides providing a useful reminder for which of the verbal pairing corresponds to the uni-directional version of 'to fly' (...don't ask!) todays subject is probably more familiar to native English speakers as 'Time flies".

The reason for acknowledging this is a comment made my teacher today that turned out to be an unexpected compliment on the progress I've made since first coming to St Petersburg last April. Being as it was last April, the fact that she thought it must have been two, maybe three years since I was first here is either a reflection on how slow time travels when she's teaching me or, as it turned out, a realisation that my Russian has progressed quicker than she'd anticipated.

A victory then! And one I was determined to prove as not just a fluke aided by my talking to a teacher trained to communicate with any foreigner who happens to have a rudimentary grasp of the langauge...

Undecided about where exactly to go for my 'practical lesson' I wandered over to my old haunt, the 'Museum of Political History of Russia'. (Note to self: Must take a photo of this place for the blog!) The sun was shining after an overcast start to the day - we seem to be on a good run again this week after a few early wet days - but I was happy to spend a couple of hours inside. The front entrance is still being renovated so follow the arrows to the side door.

What started as a quick question posed to the cashier - pre-prepared and repeated in a rather strange inner monologue during the journey - about whether the museum had any material on the Soviet-Finnish War became a full blown conversation with various members of staff about what resources I might find in the city! And I understand most of it! And they understood me!

Needless to say there was nothing available at the musuem and no dedicated exhibitions they could think of, but regardless, I did what I came to do and got my fix of 'conversation'. Not only that but to be able to talk about my work, my research interests and what I hope to achieve in Russia over the next few months was a real bonus and will hopefully set me up for my travels in Moscow.

Anyway, plenty more work to be done and I think tomorrow I need to pick another likely candidate and go speak to the curators there. Maybe the Secret Police branch of the State History Museum again or the artillery museum which I'm still yet to visit. Watch this space...

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