вторник, 12 ноября 2013 г.

We continue interviewing our students while their staying in Petrozavodsk!
Today we are glad to introduce you Martina!
Where are you from?
I am from Austria. It's kind of a small town, where I live. There are 9000 habitants and it's quite weird for me to live in such a big city like Pertozavodsk now. Of course we have Graz, which is the second biggest city in Austria but it has the same number of habitants like Petrozavodsk – about 300 000. Petrozavodsk is very big for Austria and for Russia it's rather small I think.
Why have you decided to study Russian?
I have decided to study Russian because I like the project I am working in here. I am being a volunteer service here and the project is about attending school classes, cafes and helping organizing different events. Actually I applied to many different countries so I wasn't at first really sure where to go. But then Russia suggested me to come and  so I had decided that I needed to study Russian. I like Russian because my grandparents speak Russian since they had this language at school. Apart from that I like the sound of Russian. From one hand it is so fluent and from the other hand – so aggressive and I like it. I like this mix.
Why have you decided to come to Petrozavodsk?
It was actually project who invited me here. And it was also more interesting for me to be a volunteer in a small town because it isn't such a touristic place so I could see what people do in usual life. And because it is hard to imagine any other situation when I would have a chance to visit this place. And now I am really glad that I am here.
What was the most difficult part of coming here? Were there any difficulties?
Yeah! It started when I came to Saint-Petersburg and my suitcase didn't. And I couldn't speak Russian at all, only English. But the woman from airport service didn't speak English so she couldn't explain anything to me. Luckily there was a girl who was sitting in the plane next to me and she helped me then. But it took two hours and I had only one hour left to catch the train. That girl helped me again — she took me to the train station, and I was very grateful to her. I think if I had this situation somewhere in Europe I would be able to communicate with people but here it's impossible because just a very few people can speak English and it's a problem for foreigners.
And one situation happened to me in the supermarket. I couldn't read the names of the products and could only guess what that or other thing was. And when I have decided to buy some milk and took something that was looking like milk it turned to be kefir.
Was there anything strange for you when you came here?
Actually quite a lot of things.. Better to say they were unusual.  One of those things is paying at the bus when you are out of it. And all those holes in the streets and people just drive through them. That is just weird! People are very friendly here and even when they realize you are a stranger they still are very very friendly. In Austria many people are racists and behave very impolite with foreigners. So I wasn't expecting such a good attitude from Russians. And everyone here has a water boiler because everyone drink tea all the time – no matter what occasion. When I came here I've bought this little pack of tea and I thought that would be enough for three months. But after one week it was gone! Now I got used to drinking tea, I even like it, but in the very beginning it was strange.
Is there any difference between people in Austria and people in Russia?
This difference is really big. People in Austria make a huge problem out of a little thing and here when there is a little problem people prefer to ignore it if they don't know how to deal with it. It's one of those things I like about Russians – they stay calm no matter what.
Tell me about your volunteer activity.
I attend classes at schools and play with children. For example sometimes I split the class in some groups and ask them different questions like "funny facts about Europe" or other topics. In one class I had to talk about studying in Austria so I needed to sum up the information and present it to those children. Actually it's not only children. Sometimes I have classes with adult people who have started learning English not long ago. We also organize some events in those cafes in "Begemot" or "Time Shop", where we discuss different problems or watch movies.
What was your main goal when you came here? Have you reached it?
I just wanted to see something completely different from school. And I did it.