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  2. The Diary (22 June 1994 - 13 July 1994)
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3 July 1994

Today we were supposed to go to the Russian Museum, but the person that was supposed to take us never showed up. We went instead with Yala to the Alexander park. It was really nice, like a peaceful forest. It was a perfect day. The sky was a deep, cloudless blue, the sun was warm, but not hot. We brought a jar with us and got fresh water from a spring. It tasted pretty good, maybe a little like iron, but I wasn't expecting Perrier. Anyway, it was better than the tap water, which Olga boils, and it still bothers my stomach.18

On the way back, we stopped for a rest and separately, but unanimously, decided to climb a certain tree. I gave it my best, but the first branch was too high. I nearly fell out of the tree, even with Yala giving me a boost! It was fun.

We went to a cafe aftewards. While there, we met the guy who's been driving us around all the time. I'm ashamed to say I have no idea how to spell his name (Vlat?). He was with his daughter (Katia). She's very pretty. We also met a friend of Olga's named Anya. She is sixteen, and Olga told me that she is taking entrance exams to go to the university! Quite obviously, the Russian school system is different from America's.

Tonight for dinner, Mom-mom (that's what Melanie calls Olga's mother) made Russian pancakes (like the kind I had at the lincoln log restaurant).19 I ate two, and was satisfied. Then, Olga gave me another, for doing the best job of climbing the tree today. Then Mom-mom gave me another. By this time I was feeling bloated. Olga's mother is constantly worried that I'm not eating enough. It reminds me a lot of my grandmother. I eventually ended up eating five pancakes. I don't know how I managed it, even after giving some to Melanie. I was stuffed!

18 I think this was at least in part due to hypochondria and paranoia.

19 Since Olga was a "mom", then logically it followed that Olga's mom should be "Mom-mom."

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