Trees in Snow
Photograph by John Lucic, My Shot
The wind was blowing at 90 kilometers (56 miles) an hour. Snow was traveling horizontally and hitting the trees face on. It left a nice imprint on them.
sO my friend’s dog died and she lives in new york city and so she had to take it to the vet by the subway and she put the dead dog in the suitcase on the subway and it was a pretty big dog and some dude saw that she was struggling with the suitcase so he asked if she needed help with it and he said do you mind me asking what’s in it and she didnt want to say a dead dog so shE SAID IT WAS A BUNCH OF LAPTOPS SO HE TOOK THE SUITCASE AND RAN AND I JUST
(via the-best-text-posts)Source: blein
I wanted to download We Will Rock You, but…
everytime i hear this my lungs hurt from laughing
I just fOUND HTE BEST GIF OMFG
This is actually brilliant!
A dirty thunderstorm (also, Volcanic lightning) is a weather phenomenon that occurs when lightning is produced in a volcanic plume. A study in the journal Science indicated that electrical charges are generated when rock fragments, ash, and ice particles in a volcanic plume collide and produce static charges, just as ice particles collide in regular thunderstorms.
(via howdavidwonovergoliath)Source: spaceplasma
Well, this is it, pancit. I’m out of Russia, and in a few hours, I’ll be home.
It feels very strange. I’m not as excited as I would be had I been sent home 2 days after arriving in Russia. I’ve grown to love the people, the country, the language. I mean, it’s great to be going home, seeing family, being with friends, but there’s a certain postpartum depression after long periods of travel. Well, maybe not depression. Just a strange period, a time of being in limbo, a time when I just feel like I’m floating in the space of transition between two very different points in life.
The last time I felt this was when I got home from Mongolia, and that was only a two-week trip. I was just immersed in land of different culture, weather, food, everything, and then when I got home to Manila, it was just weird. It was a strange unshakeable feeling only soluble in the solvent of time.
And I have a strong feeling it’ll happen again.
But maybe not.
After Mongolia, there was just a few days when I wasn’t really doing anything. Coming home now, it’ll be family reunions, reunions with friends, then Ignite, then enrollment, then school. So maybe all these things could lessen the length of this transition period, like a pier shooting out of the bay, lunging out ready to receive boats instead of letting them bob around a bit more until they reach the shore.
This is the image in my head because I just watched Life of Pi in the airplane, and I loved how the old Pi said that life can be summed up to the act of letting go, and it’s when we don’t say goodbye that it is most painful. And so I’m writing this piece. My last DTTR. It’s my way of closing off this period in my life and it’s really just a time to process all my thoughts. (I also watched Warm Bodies. It’s pretty good.)
Before boarding, I also called up a few friends from Voronezh just to say bye. I was using a different sim so they didn’t know who I was. I called up Dasha and Anya, both times pretending to be our Egyptian friend. I love copying him, it’s really easy, and it’s my best impression for this whole trip. So my friends answered the phone, I told them I was the Egyptian guy and that I was leaving for Egypt. Dasha was shocked and sounded sad. Anya was just “Oh, okay.” Hahaha so I guess they’re not close. It’s just so funny when I tell them that it’s me and they’re like whaaaaat no waaaaay… For my other friend, I pretended to be an Indian AIESEC intern stranded in the train station in Voronezh, which was pretty risky because I was boarding a flight going to Qatar and there are A LOT of Indians there. So yeah, that was a pretty fun way to say goodbye.
Now. Things I learned/some thoughts:
1.) Being surrounded by giants is not so bad.
2.) Big Russian moms are your best defense against scammers.
3.) When I let my hair grow, it becomes wavy.
4.) People are people wherever you go.
5.) God’s the same God even in different churches in different countries, touching different lives and writing the best stories.
5.) Filipinos eat A LOT and I love it.
6.) The easiest way to be a celebrity is to be a foreigner guest/teacher in a school.
7.) Russians aren’t necessarily heavy drinkers.
8.) In a land full of white people, any Asian is a welcome sight for me. (Voronezh had very few foreigners compared to Moscow and St. Petersburg.)
9.) I can speak Russian confidently now and have casual conversations.
10.) A friend of a friend goes a long way during travel
11.) I don’t like traveling alone.
12.) I love to cook alone.
13.) I love the moment when people realize who you’re impersonating
14.) You can learn a lot about your own language and literature from foreigners studying it.
15.) I’ll be back.
Yeah. I’ll definitely be back. That’s why I didn’t feel bad that I wasn’t able to buy decent pasalubong for everyone. Hehe
So. Thanks Russia for letting me have a great time, buuut it’s good to come home. I’ll be back again someday. Kagda? Nye znayu. Posmotrim. Dlya seichas, dasvidanya i spasibo.
And hello Manila, my first love.
When a drop falls from a moderate height into a shallow pool, its impact creates a complicated pattern. The photo above is a composite image showing a top-down view 100 ms after such an impact. On the left side, the flow is visualized using dye whereas the right shows a schlieren photograph, in which contrast indicates variations in density. Both methods show the same general structure - an inner vortex ring generated at the edge of the impact crater and formed mostly of drop fluid and an outer vortex ring, consisting primarily of pool fluid, formed by the spreading wave. Both regions show signs of instability and breakdown. (Photo credit: A. Wilkens et al.)
(via geekycrap)Source: arxiv.org
Bill Hader — who is leaving Saturday Night Live after eight years this weekend — on his audition for the show:
I remember getting in the elevator for my audition and there was a guy next to me who had a backpack full of props and wigs and things, and I went, ‘Oh, my God, that guy is so prepared, I have nothing, I have no props.’ And that was Andy Samberg. And Andy Samberg said he was looking at me going, ‘Oh, that guy has no props. He doesn’t need props.’ And that was the first time we met, was in that elevator.
I posted this on facebook:
“Today was a day of figuring things out, and of figuring out what to do when those things go wrong one after the other. Hehe.
Every first day I have in a Russian city is an adventure, and there’s no such thing as an adventure where everything’s perfect and everything just neatly falls into place. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Something always goes wrong. But adventures are different from tragedies. Tragedies are when everything goes wrong and there’s no one to turn things around. Adventures are when you know that no matter what happens, you’re still okay because you know the Author of your story never makes *disappointing endings.
So everything’s fine. Might have missed a meet-up today for a lot of crazy circumstances, but today, strangers have been really kind, the person I was supposed to meet was really understanding, and I’m in a city that’s so beautiful it makes me want to live here for a while.
The next 3 days are gonna be awesome.”
- had to meet the prof of Philippine Studies at 2 so I can sit in her class at 2:30.
- slept in hotel, woke up at 1:45
- commuted to university but I had no idea it was so far
- no load, so I couldn’t call the professor to inform her
- got to the university, realized I should’ve loaded up first because I have no idea where the class would be.
- this lady from this faculty started helping me look for her. Didn’t find her though.
- got out, looked for a place to change dollars to rubles, then looked for a place to load. found one, was about to load, but i realized didn’t know my number.
- i asked a stranger if i could call her phone to see my number
- but i didn’t have load.
- felt terrible because nothing went as planned and nothing fell into place
- went to the shop of my provider, fixed everything, called the professor, she said it’s okay and she was really understanding
- i felt better after that
- i got to figure out the metro all by myself.
- grapes lady screaming at me.
So here’s the full story. (Warning: Mahaba. If you don’t have time, short version would be enough. )
Morning, rushed to the airport, was kind of late. Wasn’t able to check the weight of my luggage at home so I was hoping I could check it at the airport like in NAIA, but I didn’t have time. I had it weighed hoping it wasn’t overweight, and it was all really stressful because I was late and employees were rushing me and speaking in Russian (they were Russian me hahahaha) and then I find out my luggage is 10 kilograms overweight. How did that happen?!? Wahhh so I had to pay overweight fee, but I didn’t have any rubles and they weren’t taking dollars, and I didn’t have a credit card, so I had no idea what to do and everyone was like so frantic.
And the captain who was helping me out called my host dad, and I didn’t realize my host parents were still standing by the entrance making sure that everything would be okay. He payed for my fee with his credit card and he just told me we’ll fix things later.
And I was whisked off to the X-ray place, and all the frantic people left. The employee there asked for my passport and the guard beside her, when he saw I had a Philippine passport, asked if I had any Philippine coins. I couldn’t find any so I said sorry.
I just really appreciated the casualness of the situation after all the panic and urgency.
So I was whisked off to the plane and I finally got to sit down and relax, and I just felt so stressed out because of what happened. It took a while for me to get over that.
I arrived at the airport on time and my taxi driver from the hotel was waiting to meet me. He had a sign that said “Juan Calazan”. Haha first time to get picked up anywhere like that. He was really kind and we were speaking in Russian. Cooool. I realized there was a biiig difference between my very first taxi ride conversation in Russia and this one.
I got to my hotel, everything was great, it was nice and small and cozy and the staff are really friendly and they speak English, and a guest was friendly enough to smile when I came in the common area. I’m so happy I got a tip from an online review to book room #3 because it has a balcony. I took a picture of the view, and I made sure I included the guard rail of the balcony to show people that it’s a balcony. I had breakfast, then I took a nap because I only slept for 2 hours.
Here’s my sched for today. I’ll wake up at 12:30, go out, get some rubles, load up my phone (no money in this sim at all. had to change back to the sim i bought in moscow since i had to give back the sim AIESEC Voronezh gave me.), go to St. Petersburg State University (gotta be there by 2 pm) and meet up with Olga, the professor of Philippine Studies there and I get to sit in her class which starts at 2:30.
Here’s what happened.
I woke up at 1:45 pm. I had to walk a looong way to the bus stop. I had to keep asking for directions. I was thinking if I should get some rubles and load up my phone first, or get to the university first. I thought I should get to the university as soon as possible. I rode the wrong bus but it was going the right way for a while. The kind people there instructed me on which bus goes all the way to the university, so I got down (they didn’t make me pay because they knew I was at the wrong bus! :D ), took another bus, and I asked the conductor to tell me if we’re already at the university, and she said she will and that I should sit down since it’s still a looong way. Haaaaay…
The whole time I just felt really bad because I had no way to contact Olga, and it’s like I arranged this whole meeting, and I didn’t call her for hours after the agreed time that I would, plus I wasn’t able to give her my number since I had no idea what my number was. And now I’m reeeally late. I felt really embarrassed, like I was so impolite to her.
I finally got my bus stop, had to keep asking for directions again to find the university, I find it, go inside, stop by the receptionist, explained my situation, she told me to go to this room, and I did, and it was a faculty room, and I explained my situation and this lady told me she’ll help me. I asked her if I could borrow a phone to call and she gave me an office phone, and I tried to call the number of Olga, but it wasn’t working. And I just kept thinking I should’ve loaded up first. I should’ve woken up early. It’s all a chain reaction of one mistake.
So the kind lady started helping me look for Olga’s class, which was already like 30 minutes through, and we went from faculty to faculty, room to room, building to building, but nothing. We didn’t find the class and we just went back to her faculty. I asked her if I could try calling again, and this time I compared the number I saved in my phone and the number she sent me
AND THEY WERE DIFFERENT.
by one small number in the end.
So i called the correct number with the phone i borrowed, and it still wasn’t working. It was turned off probably because she had class.
This was the last class I could’ve sat in. After this they have exams, and I missed it. Nothing fell into place. Nothing proceeded as planned. I said thanks to the lady who helped me and I left the university.
Naka-ilang buntong hininga rin ako. I just felt so disappointed with the day.
So I just started looking for a bank and place to load up my phone so I could call up Olga after her class and apologize.
I found a bank and changed my money, then I found a shop with a cellphone loading machine. I was about to load up when I suddenly realized:
how am I going to load my phone if I don’t know my number?
Ah, I could ask a stranger if I could call their phone and see the number.
But. How will I call their phone if I don’t have load?
Ah, I could load my phone first, then call.
But. Ah, you get it. It’s a solutionless dilemma.
But I tried it anyway. I asked a lady if I could call her phone to find out my number and she gladly obliged. I knew it wouldn’t work, like I wouldn’t be able to make a call, but with my other sim, if you try to make a call with an empty balance, the provider will send the person a text saying that you tried to make a call, so I was really hoping that text would appear in the lady’s phone, buuut nothing. She recommended I check the settings, and I remembered, oh yeah! iPhones do have your number in the settings, but when I checked it, it said “unknown”. Noooo…. Oh well. Good try. At least she was really kind.
So I just kept walking, and then I found a shop of my mobile provider! I went in, explained my situation, the employee dialed something in my phone and voila, my number appeared! I finally got to use the loading machine, but the load didn’t come in, so I had to ask an employee again, and she called a help service, said some stuff I didn’t understand, and after a while I had load!
I went out, called Olga, apologized, and she was just really understanding. I was expecting disappointment or exasperation in her voice but she was just cool with it. And that was a really big relief. Like all my frustration with the day slowly went away.
I think it’s because I’m more of a social person, like what really matters to me is how I deal with people, and what really bummed me out the most was how impolite I was with this person I said I would meet, and when she said it was okay, it really made me feel better.
So after that, I went to the metro station. I had no idea how to do anything, but outside the station there were cashiers and people buying stuff. I had no idea what to say. I tried asking this lady but she ignored me and just walked past me.
I thought “Ah, this is hopeless. If I can’t even buy a ticket, how am I supposed to figure out how to take the metro going back to my hotel?”
But then I thought of this as a challenge, like I won’t give up today until I figure this out. So I stayed near the cashier, watched people buy, and I saw that they just gave their money and said “one”, so I did the same, and the lady understood, and I got my token! Yeah, it was a token. I was expecting a card, but token’s enough for one ride. When I went inside, I saw that the cards were being sold there. And there was a map telling me where I was and how to get to different places, and with the maps all over the place, I got to go to the station near my hotel. ACHIEVEMENT! I figured out the metro by myself. And it’s a beautiful metro. The whole city’s beautiful actually. Every building is just so nice to look at.
Ok, last challenge, getting back to the hotel. I wasn’t sure of the street, but I knew it was Moskovskovo, or something like that. So I just followed the map (plus the map my friends from Voronezh gave me!) and I started looking for my hotel. There was no big sign so I had to remember what the building looked like. I remembered that I took a picture from the balcony, so I checked out what the opposite building looked like. I saw two buildings that kind of looked like my hotel and the opposite building, but when I compared the balconies, the guard rails were different. (My balcony was prettier haha). Then I saw a familiar balcony, and a familiar building in front of it, and that was it! I’m back at my hotel, everything’s not so bad anymore, and I’m loving this city.
The events of the first half of the day were just ridiculous though. Waking up late, not changing money, not loading my phone, not finding the class, not having load to call, not having the right number in the first place, and even more first than that, the phone of my friend was already turned off so even if I loaded up, I wouldn’t have been able to call til the class was over, and how could I have loaded up if I didn’t know my number, and how could I know my number if I didn’t load up?
But I’m still grateful at the kindness of every person I talked to.
Except for this lady who shouted at me because I didn’t want to buy 1.5 kilos of grapes. I told her I only wanted 1 kilo. I was still acting kind, well, for fun. I said thank you with a smile and she just grumbled you’re welcome. Hehehehe
Whataday. Hello St. Petersburg. We’re gonna have a great time.