“Time to check the list”

So 2 weeks in and time to take stock. How are we doing on the list ?

Wireless internet now ok, not a secure network but ok for now.
Tv has the extended package so 50+ channels (although no tennis so had to fine an online site)
Got all keys except one which is not important
Mobile phone set up (my hacking of the iPhone worked)
Air conditioning remotes have finally succumbed to my control
Found Cinema showing films in English (well maybe)
Found a nail bar for Judi
Taken the car out a couple of times and only took one wrong turn (Gavin the GPS was a little slow)
Got my passport back with visa (the last time for 12 months then do it all over again, joy)
Managed to get the washing machine cycle down to 84 minutes
Updated the Norton antivirus on Judi’s HP Mini (by deleting half the stuff to make room, not happy about that)
Been out to 2 new restaurants one even had an English menu
Got a Euro account with Citibank (about time too although no card for me yet)
Purchased and set up “wireless” printer (so I still have some technical ability limited as it may be)
Chairs arrived and covers 3 days later. Expecting a coffee table but might have to go back to IKEA again to get one myself.

So not a bad run so far, still lots to do,
For some reason my Nikon battery charger is not working so need to deal with that before the batteries run out.
Struggling to get a monitor set up for Judi’s mini, it needs a VGA adapter and when I phoned HP they advised me to purchase from the online store, they show out of stock on an item they make themselves which is a laugh but means I avoid trying to buy something on a US site and get it shipped over here. Post is something we have not quite worked out yet but will have to tackle soon. Mastered the cooker to the point of cooking twice but learnt not to put a hot pan lid down on it as it goes berserk and sulks. Not responding to any commands for ten minutes.

Been to the Supermarket a few times now and think the checkout girls could do with a little “customer service” training. They give you the impression that you are somewhat of an interruption to their day. Stores here have a lot of minders and security it’s like that are guarding treasure and you get the feeling that they are constantly watching you. No bags are allowed in you have to deposit them at the entrance or get them sealed in plastic to get in. Once in there are people stationed around at strategic points. All this is slightly wierd. I suppose it is just the norm and maybe the loss of a mars bar or the odd orange is a big deal here anyway it is what it is. What is slightly worrying is the selection of items. Who knew there would be Crab falvoured crisps (chips) or caviar or Kebab flavoured for that matter and the chocolate labled “Nestle for MEN” has to be tried at some point. There are lots of thing I recognise and lots I think I do but need to watch out just in case. Going to the supermarket is becoming a daily routine as everything eeds to be carried home so not buying the usual 3 box’s of diet coke with one free these days. Also almost all transactions are in “cash” a report on the Tv indicated 93% of shop purchases are in cash not credit cards. Not something the Russians comfortable about. It seems they got their fingers burnt with a financial crash a while back so banks in general are not to be trusted and cash still rules.

Taken to getting snacks from the kiosks near the metro. Not quite sure what I am buying its more “point and pay” and see what you get sometimes its sweet and sometimes savory. a bit of a lottery but good fun.

Had a chat with a guy on a stall selling maps as I needed a metro map with the 3 different naming conventions of the stations, The Metro is entirely Cryillic outside there is also the Russian (latin) and I still need the European style translated version as my brain has not got the hang of “P” = “R” and “C” =”S” and the Cryillic is still too much although I recognize an O with a line through it is “F”.  

I have lots of new photos so tomorrow may well be a picture day.
I took a walk last week to the monument to “Peter the Great” which is a new one and from a distance almost the uglyiest I have ever seen however it gets more acceptabl the closer you get. It is on the river and close to the park of the fallen hero’s which is where they put all the statues removed after the fall of communism (mostly of the leaders) so lots of shots to share.

Judi has left for Istanbul so I have a couple of days on my own. It seems I have a list (surprised? no me neither) and I have to start to plan the Christmas vacation, after all it is July.