In order to facilitate my day in the archives today, Katya kindly agreed to move my class to Saturday morning. I'll have just enough time before my pick up for the airport. Since that leaves me with little time tomorrow outside class (and homework to finish) I headed home via the supermarket to stock up on a few gifts for Christmas.
I've definitely got into the Christmas 'spirit' - bad pun intended - as you can see (though a couple of the purchases need to stay a surprise so aren't pictured here!). What made the occasion extra sweet was the fact that on being asked if I was old enough to buy alcohol (slightly tongue in cheek I think) I didn't miss a step, understood and responded with my passport. It really is these little victories that help me to feel like my language skills are improving.
It comes back to this idea of being able to survive in day-to-day scenarios and that's certainly something I've been more focused on with this trip. I've tried to be less of a tourist (I've seen none of the usual sights and haven't stepped into a museum or gallery!) and get into a routine that will serve me well whenever I'm in the city and time is against me for my research.