Thursday, 6 October 2011

Episode 12: Lost voices, Ladas and Leaves

Have you seen my voice?? I've lost it. It's a little posh, about 21 years old, speaks English and a little bit of dodgy Russian? It often uses stupid old-fashioned words like "gosh" and "boy oh boy"? When it's on the telephone it sounds a bit like Daniel Radcliffe? No? Oh i'm sure it'll turn up somewhere...

Anyway, this update finds me a little under the weather. But what weather to be under eh! The sun is shining off the puddles of motor oil, rainbows play accross the waves on Lake Onega and people walk around the big market on Kirov Square, smiling, drinking beer and haggling for jars of honey. Is this what you call "Золотая Осень" ?

It has actually been quite lovely here. The leaves have all fled their trees and they are scattered all over the streets, avenues and trolleybus tracks. Sunset comes early but brings with it a healthy light that rejoices in all the colours of autumn - the reds, the browns, the greens, the yellows. It might be getting colder but it is also getting prettier. I heard there is a place called "The Devil's Chair" that is worth a visit this time of year - is this the case?

Lots of new photographs. I now take my camera about with me all the time and snap away at things that catch my eye. Apart from the weather and parks of Petrozavodsk one more Russian icon has caught the attention of my lens: The LADA KLASSIKA. Don't ask me why (love does not respond to such a low question!) but I am head over heels for this little box of Soviet love. I stumbled past the dealership near my apartment the other day and saw a brand new one - all shiny and ready to roll - and nearly went straight to the "bankomat" to take out money. But alas! I fear it'll never be! They only come in left-hand drive : (

Tom poses with a crashed Lada - is this a weird monument or a real accident?
On this topic I have been struck by the number of car crashes in this town, which seems to me (by British standards at least) to be abnormally high. It must be to do with the condition of the roads and the fact that cars are seemingly allowed to turn into a new road when pedestrians are crossing. Does it get even worse in winter with the snow?

A recent conversation at a party revealed to me that it is a lot quicker to get a driving liscence in Russia than in the UK. I assume this means that it is easier to? A bizarre and humourous advert on TV for a local driving school states, without any sense of irony, that it is as easy as "1-2-3!" This seems to be somewhat flippant - in the UK this would be considered an act of parody. To my knowledge, neighbouring Scandinavian countries have incredibly high requirements for prospective drivers with respect to the shifting climates and it's demands on roads, cars and drivers. I imagine it ought to be the case here or am I being too judgemental? Recently I saw an advert on TV for an upcoming tv-investigation show in which a journalist will investigate why the mortality rate on Russian roads is so high. I also believe that a couple of first-year university students were run down in Moscow - my heart goes out to their families if this is the case.
Wow that got a lot more serious than I first intended! How about I leave you (no pun intended) with some more pictures of Autumn? I've also included some from the weekend where I went out Lada hunting and ended up at the abondoned, tractor you do...

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