We’re back in Volgograd! Seems like as good a time as any to actually write something on here.

We got back last Friday and were hit by a wall of cold air the second we stepped off the plane! Ужасно! It’s really warmed up though, so I can’t complain. It’s only -5 today, with wind chills of around -15. Also more snow is on its way!!

It’s been a tricky week in general, a mixture of the drama of returning, a little homesickness and some other things. Luckily I have wonderful friends and family!

Of course, the Olympics are in full swing! There isn’t a lot of Olympic fever here in Volgograd for some reason. People just don’t seem that interested! We watched the opening ceremony at a restaurant the other night and I actually quite enjoyed it, but the general feeling amongst the Russians I’ve spoken to is that it was a bit of a joke. One of my friends said she thought it was embarrassing. I would agree that there was very little fluidity between the performances and I wouldn’t say it was spectacular, but on the whole it was an entertaining few hours.

I’d say what’s embarrassing is the way foreign press is treating Sochi. There are some things that are quite funny, such as the bathroom situations.

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I don’t have a problem with most of the reports, but some really are quite annoying. For example, there was a lot of commotion about the way Russia dealt with stray dogs that were in Sochi before the Olympics. They, for the most part, were put down. I’m not saying that it was the right way to deal with it, but we can’t have it all ways:

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Another thing is about the water. You can’t drink the water in Russia and it can be annoying. I hate standing next to the water filter waiting for it to fill up after forgetting to do it too, but it’s not exactly the worst thing in the world. What I really don’t understand is how this person can complain when in reality, here’s how it happened: She arrived. Her hotel took the time to remind her about the water in Russia, which they could have easily forgotten to mention and then she posted a photo of said water. Granted, it’s an extreme example of water problems, but sometimes mine looks like that too. It’s not a massive deal. It’ll probably be significantly better the next day.

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In all honesty, I don’t think there was anything Russia could have done to side-step the criticism. Politics shouldn’t come into the Olympics. For the athletes competing, this is what they have worked their whole lives for. Some of them get one chance to do it and it would be heartbreaking to have to sit at home and miss it because you weren’t allowed to compete.

Aaaaand I think that’s it for my rant. Back to feeling sorry for myself and nursing an absolute beast of a hangover!

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