Praying for Ansley

Sunday, February 17, 2008

From Russia with Love

Or close enough for government work... (We're only about 120 miles from the Russian border and they SPEAK Russian here in Petropavlovsk, so....)

Today is Sunday, so I thought I would catch up a little on some other pictures we’ve taken since we’ve been here. This one picture shows the large water bottles that we buy for drinking water at the Iceberg. You can see many of them here, left behind from others before us, on the porch (which would be quite lovely in a different season.) You saw the windows on the porch yesterday, now see what happens to something left outside on the porch… those bottles are totally frozen. I may have mentioned before, but I find it so interesting that I can get right up next to the window in our living room, which looks out in to the porch, and feel little, if any, cold or even cool air. I know at my house, even WITH my new windows, when you get close to the doors or windows, there is a difference you can feel. Not here. The walls and windows must be so insulated, it is truly incredible.

This next picture shows the cool keys we used to get in to our first apartment! I thought they were really neat looking and fun to use. Unlike at home, you have to turn the keys 2-4 times to get it totally locked or unlocked. (Not like the once, or ½ turn we need at home.) This second apartment has a normal looking key, but again, you turn it 2-3 times to get it totally unlocked. (That tells you the length of the bolt itself… I’d say quite hard to penetrate!)

The next picture is of the first of the two doors that you needed to enter once in the apartment building to GET to your own apartment. The first big, heavy steel door led to a small hallway which leads to your front door. (The picture is taken FROM the apartment, just inside the second front door.) Your actual front door is yet another big, heavy steel door that has a huge lock. The first picture of locks is the first door you enter, the second picture of locks is what you see when you are inside the apartment. It makes it look like there must be rampant crime, but as I said before, there is none that I’ve seen or heard. It certainly makes one feel safe… It makes me think of Crocodile Dundee, the movie... "That's not a lock, THIS is a lock!" Our locks at home are a joke compared to these! I bought a door alarm from Magellan’s before coming that you can wedge under the door in case someone breaks it open (used in hotels by some to feel more safe.) I feel absolutely no need for this whatsoever. If someone has the will and determination to get in these steel doors and locks, we’re done for anyway, so that little alarm isn’t going to do one bit of good. We’d be able to hear someone breaking down those front doors LONG before we’d hear any alarm sound.
This second apartment has one big drawback compared to the first one. Our neighbors are quite loud. When they walk (like elephants, mind you) in their apartment above our living room, our chandelier shakes and rattles and sounds like it will crash down at any minute. (Not to mention the loud thumping of their feet on the ground.) Also, you can hear sound, at least, when they watch TV. Last night, for example, we were watching our movie du jour, and I paused it… yup, you could hear what they were watching… Pirates of the Carribbean! I could hear the music plain as day. Usually they go to be close to when we do, and wake a little earlier than we do. I woke up sometime after 6 a.m. some day this past week to their music above my bedroom… One of the songs that came on was, “Hit the Road Jack” (and don’t you come back no more no more no more no more, Hit the road Jack, and don’t you come back no more.) My sentiments exactly! Leave the apartment already – you’re loud and I’m sleeping. Apparently, I sleep through some of it though because when we got up today, Mom said, “Some party, huh?” I didn’t know what she meant really. I fell asleep about 12:30 but she said their party went on until about 3 a.m. She said it sounded like college kids really having a good time. I heard them when I was reading and in bed, but I totally didn’t hear anything after I fell asleep. To me, it’s not that bad so far… basically they sleep when we do – but it is different than the first apartment, which was VERY quiet.

Mom and I have both finished one novel each since we’ve been here – so if you’re preparing for travel, that might give you a gauge at what to bring if you enjoy reading. We are both reading slow, on purpose, since we were going through our first books so quickly, realizing we each only brought three, and we were only 3-4 days and over half done with one book. This also is NOT the only thing we’ve kept busy with. The computer is slower than we’re accustomed to, so posting and emailing takes longer than I would like. Daily pictures of the precious little girl take time to look at, and download, and name, etc. Catching up on some headlines online definitely takes longer than usual. We’ve done a 500 piece puzzle… well 497, we lost three pieces, somewhere, somehow. We watch at least one movie every night. So, if you like to read and not do this other stuff, you’ll go through a lot more books! As much as we’ve enjoyed them so far, we plan to leave them here so as not to lug them back home! If I like it that much, I’ll just buy it again at home! It just depends on what you like to spend your time doing – there is certainly lots of time to read if you enjoy it.

It is snowing here today. We plan to head out for a walk, at least, in a short while. It seems colder today – but it is hard to tell when you’re inside. It LOOKS colder, I’m sure, because of the snow falling.

We’re trying to keep up with the comments and emails, but if we’ve missed responding to anyone, here is a blanket THANK YOU for keeping in touch! As I’ve said, the dial-up is painfully slow and we mean well in responding, but simply run out of time, or energy, to sit on the computer any longer sometimes. Do know that we appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers and you are all on our minds! We miss you and are grateful for family and friends like you.


Jennifer M said...

I think I brought about 25 books with me (all in electronic form on my lap top), and only had 4 unread by the time I arrived home!

I know there are 2 other families there right now. Have you guys met up with Dave and Suzanne, and Phil and Linda yet? I know most of our spare time was taken up with hanging out with the other couples either for meals or for just exploring (easier to do during the summer I suppose).

Love the pics of the keys. I always called the one for whole apartment building "the drill." It made Jim laugh every single morning when I asked him if he had the drill. :-)

Cindy said...

I finally got signed up so I could view your blog. I read all the back to Xmas. What a wonderful story! Now that you are with your daughter you have probably forgotten all the trials to get there. I am so happy for you. Your updates have made me laugh and cry!

Stay Warm! I appreciate our brief cold spells here in Texas now. I can't imagine how cold it must be there.