A Villain, a Pirate And an Epicure
Sport is ubiquitous nowadays. There is a proliferation of newspapers, magazines and sports channels throughout the world. Are Russians into sport? Some are and some are not. The fact that Russians really belong to the sports nation becomes more obvious in the winter season when the city is dotted with skating rinks, when you notice people carrying skis on their shoulders and young men with bulky looking holdalls that are filled with hockey equipment. However, as far as jogging and biking are concerned, we are definitely outdone by the British (and probably by some other nations too). I learnt it for myself last summer. I didn’t risk biking in England as I am a bit scared of riding a bike along a road with the flaw of vehicles, moreover here in Russia we drive on the other side of the road. So probably my decision was the only right. However, while in England I went for a run more or less regularly and progressed from a nine-minute run in the beginning to over thirty minutes at the end. Talking about exercise, I am starting to go to the gym tomorrow. Like most people, I want to look fitter by the summer. Hm, I don’t find watching all sports tedious. But then, I don’t watch sports very often. The thing is that there is always some sports event on and you risk spending all your spare time in front of the telly.
Oh, I shouldn’t forget to mention that I am a newly converted football supporter. Maybe not of an extreme type, but a fan nonetheless. On the right you can see Wembley stadium in London – Bristol Rovers played Shrewsbury in May’07 there and Shrewsbury were beaten, 4:1, which earned Bristol Rovers promotion to League One! The guys in blue are all Bristol Pirates fans.
I wonder if each English football team has got a fright-inducing nickname. If Bristol Rovers are Pirates, Aston Villa (and their supporters) are Villains, then what is the nickname of Newcastle team? Perhaps, Newcastle monsters? Wait a minute… does it mean that little Teah is a Villain?!
What do you think of Russia’s National football team? I think they are hopeless. I was certain that England would rout Russia in the Euro 2008 qualifier held in Moscow. I promised to walk naked across Izhevsk Central square if Russia beat England. Guess what? I had to do it and Izhevsk television made a programme on me.
So, what is your favourite national dish? I have several. Today I had chebureki. It is deep-fried dough with minced meat filling. Yummy but not healthy. See the photo below. In the next photo there are a few dishes that are quite popular with Russian people. I am sure that many of you have heard of borsch or pelmeni, have you ever tried it? Do you have something similar in your country? Read more on the topic of Russian national cuisine in my next blog.
Two days to go to St. Valentine’s Day and I keep checking my post-box. I have an inkling that I will find a letter in there (hopefully in time for the 14th). Flowers and intimate dinners are nice, but it is not something I have always associated with Valentine’s Day. I favour the idea of finding a romantic valentine in an unusual place and reading it in private afterwards. Or maybe I am just being old-fashioned. What do you normally do on St. Valentine’s?
Did you know that a sledge ride is a typically Russian thing? Of course, nowadays you will not see sledges on the roads as they are not allowed to go beyond park boundaries. This year sledges have started to catch on once again and I hear that sledges from Gucci are now available, they are said to be incrusted with Swarovski crystals and to be made of genuine leather. Watch for them when you are at a European ski resort. They must cost a fortune. It’s not a Gucci sledge in the photo – it’s an Izhevsk one I saw yesterday in the park.
Abida, Ana Paula, Irina, Yumico, Adriana, Naheed, James, Katea, Marichel, Mercé, Angela, Nizhama, Elena, Marina, Anita, Niaz Ali, Silwal Kishor, Jarco, Pary and others, thanks a lot for your comments :) Hope you continue enjoying my blogs.
Leila, thank you so much for your kind words. I agree with the BBC LE team that your blogs were filled with warmth.
Kirsti, what a nice name for little girls! :)
Cheikhna, you have my support. Russian is not that difficult. Remember, there are people who manage to master Chinese! All you need to do is study regularly.
Hyoshil, traditionally, the wedding season in Russia is autumn, but people get married in other times of year too.
Chandra, our tap water comes from rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Izhevsk is supplied with the water from the Kama River (it is the largest tributary of the Volga River) and the Izhevsk reservoir (the River Izh).
Antonio and Ricardo, thanks for your advice. I’ve noticed that Spanish is a bit more difficult than Italian.
Jeronimo, we were taught at school that there are about 80 languages in Russia and many of them are on the brink of extinction.
Alexey, there are so many Internet resources for learning English and they are all different… have you tried BBC Learning English? :)
Tanya, yes, it looks like the ugly construction will be built after all. Personally, I think it is a very bad idea to try and attract tourists by something that looks like a weapon.
Have a good week everyone,
P.S. I was joking about crossing the square nude. However, it means that my bet was never settled and that you can never trust girls!
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