have ARRIVED and am IN ORDER. I live in a student dorm, which I was initially skeptical of (truth: recoiled from the idea), but now find myself loving it here. Single room but double size, includes kitchen and a whole entrance room for the shedding of Yeti-like exteriors. Only complaint is that it is absolutely abominably hot inside, which I will probably come to appreciate soon but for now am getting wrinkled and pruney as I stew in my own sweat. There are 7 of these quirky-roofed dorm buildings with these great mirrored pyramids in the middle. [Does anyone remember that fun internet game where you draw lines and a little guy on a sled slides along the gut-destroying roller coaster you design for him? And then goes off some poorly-designed jump and you watch guiltlessly as he is flung off into the far reaches of cold and lonely cyberspace? The roofs remind me of this game.]
It’s a beautiful autumn here. I’m blown over by the dazzling forests (that look exactly like Vermont forests, but are more magical because here “Annie loves Johnny” carvings are instead “Anastasia lyubit Ivana” in Cyrillic). Great little forest outside the dorm. I take a picture of it everyday out of excitement and my hard drive is getting a little crowded.
Also, there are these fantastic, gargantuan posters all over the city alerting us of how spectacular and socially-conscious Yugra (the region) is. For all of those unlucky people out there that haven’t learned Russian (yet), this poster reads, “Yugra, territory of the future.” There’s tons of others, in addition to one on almost every dorm building, and I have been photographing them as neurotically often as I photograph the forest outside my dorm.
I’m convinced they bear a striking resemblance to similarly optimistic and patriotic Soviet posters: people looking to the vague right or left upper-hand corner and something positive written about the future. I browsed around and found this poster.
P.S. It somehow seems wrong to post pictures of Siberia without snow. It feels just about as bad as telling a kid there’s no Santa. (ouch, cliché)