Oh, Russia. Just when your cold weather and endlessly gray clouds make me feel like I'm about to turn on you... you surprise me with like, the best holiday ever! So yesterday (March 8th) was Women's Day which is an awesome holiday celebrated internationally, but taken very seriously in Russia. Since Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are not really observed in Russia, this is the big one.
School is cancelled. Work is cancelled.
Everyone you know buys you flowers.
My classroom is filled with bouquets. Little boys led by their babushkas shyly handed me bundles of roses and gave me well wishes. The older boys brought me candies and cards. Ben bought me a bouquet of flowers and some fancy makeup I'd been wanting for awhile and had a very heartwarming talk with me about all the things he appreciated about me. : )
And to top it all off, we went with our dear friends Grigor and Granush to a "camp" in the "woods". I say this in quotation marks because, well. It was not camping. Grigor called us last minute to invite us and we spontaneously trekked across the city to meet him and be driven out to the "forest" (literally, there was a sign that just said 'forest'). Our sweet boss and Russian mother, Margarita, was very upset at the prospects of us camping in the deep winter and warned me against bears and frost bite. But this was more like a lot of booze in apartments in the suburbs of Moscow, but it was still excellent fun.
Granush's s'mores supplies.
Doesn't Ben look like such a future TEDtalk-er?
I know he'll give one someday about something epically brilliant.
We woke up early the next day and decided to go tromping through the snow because the sun was out. Not our best idea. Though the snow was probably four feet high, it just did not have a solid layer. So crashing through the snow we went.
Tiny little glasses for tiny little beverages! I believe these are traditional Russian vodka shot glasses, but all we had was beer and wine (I know, so un-Russian of us) so we made do.
So make sure to tell all the women in your life you love them and have a good weekend!