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Showing posts from January, 2012

O blagodat' (I'm the one with the flute)

Yep, this is our Christmas performance: "Amazing Grace" in Russian, a la Celtic Women.

It doesn't really sound like the Celtic Women version, but it was a fun project trying to learn and memorize all 3 parts.

Also, I got choked up near the end thinking about the words, so my voice sounds a little shaky.


On corruption

A recent article in the St. Petersburg Times gave an interesting look into the issue of corruption.

I found this quote especially interesting:
"Russian bureaucracy is such a giant beast that what is sometimes termed as corruption is just a misconception that actually has more to do with the heavy bureaucratic structure where there is an unwillingness to accept responsibility. It’s easier to say no than it is to say yes because saying no doesn’t carry any risk." (emphasis mine)There is no doubt about the existence of corruption in the Russian government, yet in day-to-day life I try to think the best of people and see them as humans rather as The Machine. I'm not sure if I've ever been a victim of corruption, and I'm not sure I would catch on if I were being encouraged to pay a bribe.

Who is corrupt?

I came across my residency permit honestly, although it took a lot of sweat, blood, and tears. As I look around at the other people in the Immigration Office, I see the…