Posted by: Margaret Cappa | May 31, 2010

May 30: Arrival in Russia

I am in RUSSIA! I honestly can not believe that I’m writing this. This internship is offering me such spectacular experiences, I couldn’t be more happy 🙂

It is 8:30 a.m. local time (12:30 a.m. Toronto time). I’m about to embark on my first full day in Murmansk, Russia. But let me tell you about how I got here…

Chantaie and I were waiting in the parking lot outside our workplace for the taxi to take us on the three-hour drive to Murmansk, Russia. Then, a white Dodge Caravan drove up, the man driving rolled down the window, and, in a thick Russian accent said, “Murmansk?”

“Yes…” we said, puzzled for a minute – could this be our taxi?

Then the driver, wearing an AC/DC, shirt popped out of the van, walked up to us, extended his hand and couldn’t stop the natural smile from drawing over his face, “Hi! I’m Sergei!” he said.

The drive was quite enjoyable, Sergei gave us a commentary – as best he could in English – and him and I talked hockey for a bit. Most of the hockey-talk surrounded Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin, the two biggest Russian names in the NHL right now. I think he was quite impressed when I told him I played hockey!

When driving through Murmansk to our hotel, he pointed out landmarks to us along the main street, “Lenin Street.” First “Supermarket” was on the right, then the “Theatre,” after a stop light or two he pointed to the left, “K.G.B.”  We of course know the state police aren’t called that anymore, they’re called “F.S.B.,” but I guess a name sticks after growing up with it?

So here we are! I’m not sure how much I’ll be videotaping and documenting as I am here on a tourist visa, so stay tuned for all the Russian experiences possible!

Saturday (May 29) was a fun day, and that’s what the following video is. Fun in Kirkenes and snipits of our night taking in the Eurovision experience. Eurovision is basically like the American or Canadian Idol contest, but for all of Europe and some middle-eastern countries!! It was SO neat to watch. Twenty-five contestants from places like Ireland, Moldova, France and Azerbaijan. GERMANY WON!

If you’re feeling so inclined to listen to more of the Eurovision favourites, I suggest the following countries:

Germany – Lena “Satellite”

Beligium – Tom Dice “Me and my guitar”

Turkey – maNga “We could be the same”

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