Alexander Nikulin's Blog Part II
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11-16-2007, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Zubov’s no help around the kitchen.
November 16, 2007.
My main activity outside of hockey is studying English. Ilja Zubov and I still go to the lessons like clockwork. And, I must say, there is noticeable progress. I can already exchange a few phrases with my teammates. They help me, by the way. They make an effort to say words slowly so that I can understand everything. And I respond. Though I still don’t understand the coach’s pre-game speeches. On the other hand, he says the same things every time. Everything’s clear without translation.
The atmosphere within the team is good. There was a team dinner. Binghamton took part in a charitable affair. Threw paint all over the ice. To be honest, I didn’t get the point. Though it was clear it was a benefit for children from an orphanage. And I got the paint all over me, although, thankfully, it washes off easily.
And in other news: Ilja Zubov and I have moved to an apartment. We’re sharing the rent. Big hall, two bedrooms, kitchen. If anyone’s wondering, it’s $850 a month. Prices are incomparable with Moscow’s. We have some guys that rent houses for $1,500.
What’s better in an apartment? You can cook something. But it’s mostly me around the kitchen. I can make borsch, fried eggs, spaghetti. And Ilja Zubov can’t cook. And can’t help out in the kitchen at all. Nothing to hide here.
The apartment is close to all the supermarkets. But totally empty. It only came with beds and a refrigerator. Had to buy everything ourselves, from bed sheets to spoons and forks. However, that’s normal. Several guys rented furniture, bought TVs.
We have a TV, but we don’t watch it. We’re waiting for the cable to be installed. We’ve set up an appointment, but the technician still hasn’t come. Though there wouldn’t be any Russian channels anyway. We aren’t hiring a maid, we’re keeping it clean ourselves. No problems with that.
I heard that the soccer season in Russia is over. And Zenit is the champion. Amazing! Though I haven’t followed the playoffs, don’t even know how anything transpired. I’m not crazy about soccer, I could watch Barcelona, maybe. Plus, in America you stop being used to soccer. They show some highlights on TV here, only rarely.
Ilja Zubov finally bought a car. A Porsche, but not new, though in great condition. We drove to New York City, met Gennadiy Ushakov, the agent. It’s a four-hour drive to New York City. We even encountered a deer on the way, running by calmly. Cool.
New York shocked me. I think even Moscow traffic is more peaceful. Or did we just catch the rush hour? Noise, clatter, signals everywhere, everyone’s running, cutting everybody off. Same thing in Moscow on Tverskaya at 6 PM. Anyway, drove to the airport and back. Didn’t see the city. And we’re not likely to go back, too far away.
You have to relish the off days. Recently we had a day free of practice. We went to visit Zubov’s relatives. Ilja’s sister is married to an American, they live here. We spent the evening with them.
Looks like slowly but surely things are moving along with my girlfriend Natasha’s visa. It’s a real hassle here with paperwork, but we’ve straightened it out now, sent off the necessary forms. I hope they give her the visa.
Our leisure time hasn’t changed. Practice, lunch, nap, dinner. Now we have road games close by. In the morning we skate on our own ice, then board the bus and drive to the game. Afterwards back in the bus and home.
Ilja and I wanted to go to the movies. However, looks like there’s no theater in our town. We searched but didn’t find one. And the guys on the team couldn’t remember if there are any in Binghamton. Just amazing.
Last edited by ThirtyFive: 01-02-2008 at
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