Unlike the majority of Russians who, immediately after popping out of the womb, are strapped to a pair of skis, I have not been skiing since child hood. In fact, I’ve only been skiing twice now…and both times have been here in Ukhta. And I’ve only been cross country skiing, I haven’t even tried sliding (read: tumbling) down a mountain yet. God help me the day that I try downhill skiing.
The first time was disastrous — I managed to ski only 5km. In an hour. That is a disgraceful, sluggish pace. Babushki passed me, that’s how slow I went. It’s not that I’m out of shape (who I am kidding, I’m terribly out of shape), it’s just that I fell about every two seconds. This time, I managed to fall only five times, and to go 10 km. Major improvement.
Today also happens to be Christmas. Russians celebrate Christmas on January 7th, so today was just an ordinary day. It makes no difference to me, because as a Buddhist, December 25th is also just a regular day for me. However, I usually spend Christmas with my parents or with my friends, so the fact that I wasn’t at home gorging on food made me a little teary. But I figuratively slapped myself in the face, and snapped out of it, because despite having some rough bumps, I’m absolutely loving it here. I don’t know what I did in the past life to deserve this boon, but I am truly blessed to have been able to meet amazing people here.