Our first impression of this trip: waiting in line at the currency exchange,  a guy at the airport asks us if he can cut in front because he was in a rush to catch a bus. But how does a slovenly looking man who speaks no english come up with a crisp $100 bill? I’m sure he was in a hurry, but not for the bus. Considering it wasn’t my 100 dollars, I found this hilarious and let him go in front.

This city is photogenic. Even the clouds add texture to every shot and they bring out the deep blues in the stunning architecture. It’s a shame we cannot stay until late May when it never gets dark; right now the sun sets at 11 pm and rises before 6 . Maybe staying longer will help me understand what Dostoevsky was trying to say in “White Nights”, a story about dreams and practicality.

The grandeur of this trip hasn’t hit me yet and I’m beginning to wonder if it ever will. Maybe it’ a sign I have become callous to the word ‘home’ as a physical destination and recognise it as the place my family resides any given moment. Whereever they are is my home, and an attachment to any single house or town proves to be trivial and fleeting. I know well enough that houses come and go; they are planks nailed together, drywall glued into place, and comparatively weak structures when put against nature and its whims. One should never value a shelter over the people it protects, an attitude that completely dissolves the issue of homesickness. Maybe I’ve become acclimated to this kind of life, one where constant movement is as inevitable as Palin and Trump’s rapid political demise (what happened to credibility) and your ability to embrace the unknown is a distinguishing factor for success. Maybe it’s the fatigue talking. I am writing this while my comrades are sleeping, after all. Jet lag and constant day light and general exhaustion take a toll, but nothing comes before updating Squeaky Robot.

We are going to my birthday dinner later! Because it’s my birthday!! In light of everything, I keep on forgetting this. And sites like the Church of the Savior on Blood (above) leave me constantly mesermized and pensive, thinking about everything but myself and sometimes nothing at all. JUST LOOK AT IT. But I am officially no longer a confused awkward teenager, but simply a confused awkward adult!

My day was made early on when out hostel proprietor, who speaks no english, told me my russian was very good. It was euphoric, self-affirming, and overall a great compliment for something I’ve been working hard towards for two years. I look forward to making many mistakes and inadvertantly offending somebody many.

Clearly this scattered post reflects my scattered mind. There’s no ‘flow’ or theme or any linking quality, but it will have to do for now, and you will have to eat my thought nuggets regardless if they’re tasty or not!

I leave you with the inside of the aformentioned church. How can I remember its my birthday with this IN FRONT OF MY FACE?