It’s been awhile.  Simply because I don’t have a working computer. So bear with me as I void your lives of the wonderful pictures of Astrakhan.  To be honest, there’s not too much to look at quite yet… Just over a week ago we had 50’s and sun, with the entire city melting into one big puddle.  Now that was supposed to be an Astrakhan spring… jokes on us.  Today is in the 20’s, once again and we’ve had three more significant snowfalls within the last week.  And no sun.  It’s killing me.. what happened to this whole “southern city” ordeal?! Isn’t this spring supposed to happen on in St. Petersburg?!

Anyways, recently I’ve gone to the Astrakhan KVN premire.  KVN is the stand up comedy show, famous in Russia.  Most cities have their own KVN leagues and competition, and the winners get an opportunity to participate in a major competition in Moscow. I would compare it to Saturday Night Live. The comedians often start playing in KVN then move onto bigger comedy groups, like Komedi Klub or Nasha Russia.   I went, expecting to enjoy myself, maybe understand a bit, but nothing major.  However, I was shocked at what I understood.. practically everything.  I was laughing, without having to look at my friend and see if he was giving me the cue to laugh.  I knew what was going on, and understood many of the punch lines.. victorrrryyyy.  The jokes were generally centered around minorities, the upcoming elections, and Astrakhan winters.  There was a few about America.. one I didn’t appreciate too much.  This student appeared in front of a teacher and was asked to tell about America’s history.  The student began reciting different wars.. I think you understand the intonation here.  My friend looked over casually to see how I reacted; I just kept shaking my head.

the KVN group from a local Astrakhan region

Very great clip from Komedi Klub, most can understand even without Russian:

Then there was Women’s Day.  If I hate Valentines Day, I subsequently also despise the 8th of March, or Women’s Day.  They’re essentially the same thing except Russians are obessed with this holiday and it’s very important to give gifts and eat food and drink drink and take three days off.  Well I guess I wasn’t really in the gift-giving loop, and didn’t prepare anything.  I was angry with myself for not thinking of this before hand and bring back little gifts from America.. but alas. I ended up with four big boxes of chocolate.  Alas, the composition of my fridge is ketuchp and chocolate.

With this holiday, as most major Russian holidays, come scheduling conflicts.  Essentially we had Thursday, Friday, and Saturday off.  But because we took Friday off, we  had to make it up and work Sunday.  Logic?! Can anyone explain this logic?!  Then they were surprised when I was like, yeah we just take days off. period. isn’t that what a day “off” is for?  So, I had to work on Sunday.. which was werid..just being in a place where you’re not supposed to be. I didn’t like it one bit.  And it’s so confusing.. because well the kids went to school on Sunday too.. but not on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.  So they make up one day out of the three?  confusionconfusionohwaitthisisrussiaconfusion.

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