(a picture of a milk truck from my last trip to Russia)
Milk here in Russia is bad. Really bad. So, today I walked to the opposite side of my district to try and find some Finnish milk. Success! Finnish milk is more expensive, but it tastes and, more importantly, smells like real (i.e., American) milk. The biggest bone I have to pick with Russian milk is that I can never tell if it has gone sour or not: it ALWAYS smells sour. So, to enjoy my 1 liter of good milk, I decided to splurge and get some Western cereal too. A small price to pay for happiness.
The time changed here in Russia yesterday. So, because of how far north we are, it is now 8:00 PM and the sun is just now setting. Springtime here in Russia means two things: the mosquitos are back and the city smells. There is still ice on the ground and the temperature STILL has not gotten above 40 degrees F and the mosquitos are out. The last few mornings I've been awakened by that familiar buzzing noise in my ear. The city smells because the ice on the ground has begun to melt (it's by no means finished), showing the artifacts that accumulated over the long winter: cigarette butts by the millions, empty beer bottles, and dog droppings of various shades and sizes. Imagine you saved the "waste" from your dog over the course of 4-5 months; now imagine you keep it in a freezer; now imagine that freezer stops working; now imagine this happening to hundreds of thousands of people in the city. THIS is why springtime stinks in St. Pete.