I haven’t quite realized yet that I’ll be spending the next ten weeks in Russia. I leave Thursday morning for St. Petersburg via Reagan-National to JFK and then Helsinki.
I’ve been studying Russian all year, but as I flip through my Russia at a Glance phrase book, I keep coming upon phrases I’ve never seen before, and hope to never use:
- He’s stolen______ – Он украл______
- There is no hot water – Нет горячей боды
- I was hit by a car – Меня сбила машина
The book also includes useful phrases for meeting new people, such as “Are you married?” and “Are you alone?”.
To get a taste for St. Petersburg culture before arriving, I’ve been trying to read the English-language St. Petersburg Times. Among the stories leading right now are a piece on rising tensions between Russia and NATO and an article critical of anti-corruption efforts.
From the latter article, we learn: “Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee, could vacation in the Czech Republic in an apartment owned by his wife. This inflamed United Russia Deputy Alexander Khinshtein, who told Kommersant that it was “nonsense” for a senior official’s family to own property in a NATO country.”
On the lighter side,”Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev, who put his earnings at about 370 million rubles ($11 million)… listed among his property a Porsche Cayenne and a Porsche 911.”
It is unclear if Minister Trutnev was criticized for owning two cars manufactured in a NATO country.