I spent the first hour running. I haven’t run in quite a few days, so it felt very refreshing. I checked out the three main streets of the city: Lenin Street, Marx Street, and Mirskaya Prospekt (these three run parallel to each other) + a number of side streets. I found it quite surprising that the street names have not been changed, but I later learned that it is normal for Russian cities (in Poland all communist leader names were removed from the shields and replaced). The main goal of this run was to find an internet café and a gym. I didn’t find either at the end of the hour and pretty much gave up – decided to run up the stairs to the 10th floor and accept this as a part of my daily work out while here. I took another shower (yes! Two showers in one day) and decided to take off again, this time to find some food and an ATM. To my surprise, when I walked out of the apartment building, I stumbled into a Sportivnyj Klub – two minutes away! The price per month stunned me a little bit, but that’s really the only thing I can do here on a regular basis in addition to running (there will be some hikes, but only on weekends). Tomorrow shall I start.
I spent the rest of my afternoon exploring the streets again at a slower pace, visiting a local farmer’s market (oh, the fresh and smoked fish that they sell here, and the cheeses – amazing!), doing a little shopping to have stuff for breakfast, and still hunting – without success – for an internet café. Perhaps tomorrow at the university someone will have an answer for me – I can’t believe that there are no public places where one can use the internet. Then I came back “home” and took a two hour nap. When I woke up, the hostess (Natalia) and Katya were back, and dinner was already being cooked. I got nice food and a generous portion of Russian input and was also pushed to produce some output. And more is coming tomorrow.