Hello friends, family, friends-of-family, strangers, and creeps. Welcome to my new blog, the sequel of ‘MattinSiberia’, (www.mattinsiberia.wordpress.com), in which I will be documenting round 2 of my experiences living/teaching/traveling in the Russian Federation. This year the setting for my tales will be the sea-straddling hills of Vladivostok – Russia’s major Pacific sea port, and home of the Russian Pacific Fleet. Here is a nice picture of Vladivostok for your viewing pleasure:
And here is Vladivostok on a map for your geographical knowledge enhancement pleasure:
As you can see, and most likely already knew (I’ll assume that readers of my blog are either family or friends, and therefore smart, or Russian, and therefore you know, like already know all this stuff) Vladivostok is hecka close to all those North Asian countries. It is located on the Golden Horn Bay, Sea of Japan, Pacific Ocean. It’s about as far east as you can get feasibly get in Russia (not entirely true but close). This, the second name I chose for my new blog (see footnote), is merely a literal translation of the city’s name, which when broken into two words – ‘vladi’ and ‘vostok’ – means to rule, or own, the East. And that is exactly what I plan to do while broadcasting delightful/insightful nuggets of my life to you. Feel free to enjoy.
footnote: I originally titled my new blog, “sea cucumber cliffs”, which is the translation of the original Chinese name for the city (and apparently still used), and which upon first contact seemed like such a weird/cool name for a place that I immediately chose it for my blogjam. But after my first post I began to really get self-conscious about having a blog with a title that reminds me (for some reason) of the cheesy poetic sayings and tidbits of “wisdom” printed on Good Earth tea-bags. And besides (I thought to myself), cliffs of sea cucumbers, although it sounds cool and exotic, don’t really seem to convey Russia. You know, although Vladivostok may be on the ocean, it’s still Russia and it’s still cold and it’s still somehow hard and austere. Rule the East! This sounds so much more Russian. Simple, unadorned, but powerful. Russia is not Good Earth Chai tea-bags. Russia is dark, black, unsweetened, instant coffee in a flimsy, clear plastic cup which burns the shit out of your hands but no one seems to care. And finally, most importantly, sea cucumbers are gross: