Oh no! I just realized how delinquent I've been about finishing up my posts from Vladivostok/Ulan Ude/Irkutsk. I've been home for four weeks already, and I'm leaving again in less than two weeks! I'll do my best to wrap it all up as soon as I can. Please check back for new posts and heckle me if I don't put them up!
I've decided to continue my blog for the next year, and to keep the same web address - partly because it feels like a waste to abandon this address and get a new one (cyber-litter?), and partly because it will be easier that way for anyone who's bookmarked the page. (I am not willing to part with a single reader, can you tell?)
So for the sake of organization, I've decided I'll just divide the blog into sections by year. Hopefully I can figure out a way to archive all the Vladivostok posts and get them off the main page when I start the Taganrog section. Anyway, I guess the way it will go is that I will wrap up The Eastern Bell, Part I: Восточный колокол and begin The Eastern Bell, Part II: Азовская русалка. (Yes, that means the title of year one will translate as "The Eastern Bell, Part I: The Eastern Bell," but I'm trying not to let that bother my perfectionist side.) Азовская русалка/Azovskaya Rusalka, by the way, means "The Azov Mermaid." It's the best name I've come up with so far along the bent of "geographic adjective + fanciful noun," but feel free to tell me if you think it's a lame name. I also thought of "The Azov Birch," but that seems just a little too stereotypical, plus it makes it sound like a birch tree that's growing out of the ocean.
Also coming soon: links to friends' journals! My good friends Nana and Justin are in Korea now, and I'm super-excited about their blog. I join them in wishing wholeheartedly that it will be "as interesting as [mine], but with fewer car accidents."