Saturday, November 17, 2012

11/17 - Beer Factory (Ochakovo)

With all of the scandals happening this week including the accusations against Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Allen, I'm happy none of the higher-up Air Force generals are accused of anything. It's unbelievable that I only have about a month left in Moscow with my departure date scheduled for December 18. Our resident director John was telling us that students begin to daydream of home in these last few weeks, and I want to try to avoid this symptom at all costs. I'll most likely only visit Russia a few times in my lifetime, so I want to make the most out of these final weeks. 

This week felt like a huge linguistic accomplishment for me. First of all, I had always had trouble with the Russian "verbs of motion," and to give you a sense of how difficult these are, instead of just having the words for "to go," it changes based on the vehicle you're riding in, or if you're going on foot. On top of all that, there are prefixes to identify the direction of the motion. I finally conquered my fears and got an A on the test this week on verbs of motion. Moreover, I met with my tutor, Maria, this week and we went to a Mexican restaurant. Maria always is willing to help me with my Russian, and our entire conversation at the bar was in Russian. She pointed out that she observed tremendous progress, and it definitely calmed me down and gave me more faith in the American Councils Study Abroad program. It is truly one of the best ways to learn Russian.

Yesterday, we had our fifteenth excursion to the Очаково пивзавод (Ochakovo Beer Factory). All of us were excited because, well, we are college students and we love all kinds of alcohol. Its also important to note how the beer scene is exploding in Moscow, and its almost at the point of overtaking vodka in terms of consumption. We had a fantastic tour guide, but unfortunately, the factory was sort of boring. We got to see the areas where beer is produced, but we never actually saw the process happen before us. The highlight of the day was definitely the beer-tasting at the end. We got to try their award-winning German-style beer, plus many other light and dark flavors. 

Пивные бочонки (Beer Kegs) outside the Factory

Goofing around near the bar with a stuffed wolf

Today is the earliest I've ever started my Christmas shopping, and I went with my friends Amanda and Gizem to the market (рынок) near Измайловский парк (Izmailovsky Park) to start buying gifts for my family and friends. I know my loved ones will appreciate an authentic Russian gifts this year, plus its always a bonus to avoid the craziness of the shopping season in the United States. Only about a month left, and there's so much left to see! Not only in Moscow, but around the region. I hope to inform you of more adventures soon enough.

Thanks for reading!

Countdown to returning home: 31 days

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