Happy birthday to me

Yes, it’s my birthday. I’ve been waiting for it for so long. Almost a year, to be precise.

Today is the day. The day when Daniel Radcliffe and Jo Brand and some other great guys and events came to life. The day when me and my family always have fun (it’s not my fault, really, but, as I was born in the middle of the summer – and in summer we always happen to have a slightly bigger lack of money than we usually do – my birthday is one of the several chances to allow ourselves spend a bit more, while other’s birthdays do not attract such attention); and – this year only – the day when my “you’re sixteen, beautiful and mine” turn into “she was just seventeen, you know what I mean” (then, of all the other beatles songs, there’s only “when I’m 64” waiting for me, as far as I remember).

As you can see, this is also the day I finally got to be online, which is, undoubtedly, awesome. Maybe even more awesome than the other things happening today. My family and I went to Eysk, a town the village we live in territorially belongs to, and are now sitting in a café. Later on the program, there’s going to the cinema to see some cartoon about the Wizard of Oz, and then visiting a recreation park until it’s nine p.m. – time to go back to our village.

Um… What else?

The passing year was quite generous to me for friends and events. A year ago, I couldn’t even imagine things that have happened, are now happening, or are due to happen in the nearest time to me. A huge thank you to everyone who has taken place in my existence throughout this period.

I love you guys (if anyone’s reading it at all) and I hugely miss you. Please, do contact me. I’ll be extremely happy to communicate as there’s no one to talk to and I think I’m going slightly mad. You can send me an e-mail to drumminismymadness@gmail.com, but I hardly have any internet connection, so there’s no actual use of an e-mail, or a real letter, you know, paper, stamps and everything, to the lovely miss Nica Sharafoutdinova (that’s me), The Universe, Milky Way (not the chocolate one), The Solar System, The Earth, Russia, Krasnodarskiy kr., Eyskiy r-n, st. Kamyshevatskaya, ul. Morskaya, d. 41, 353651. Once again, I’ll be happy to reply.

I suppose that’s all for now.

Happy birthday to me and to anyone else who was born on the twenty third day of the seventh month.

Yours sincerely,

nica

An almost-a-month report

Hello again I do owe you all, my half-imaginable friends, a massive apology for not writing much later. Seeing that you almost haven’t heard from me for the last month or so, and that so much has happened to me since I last e-talked to you, I think it is my duty to describe to you some of the more or less important things taking place in my existence.

Firstly, the place I live
As, I presume, you all know already, my family (consisting of Dad, a disabled, thus retired, miner and now a photographer; Mum, one of the best journalists in town, a greatly gifted person who spends a large part of their potential trying to make ends meet; me, who’s already wasted a lot of time describing themselves; my younger brother Nazar, being all boyish and eleven-years-y, not good at school, but great at making friends etc, in other words, nothing like your truly; and Dinara, my small sis, who is six years old and adores horses and pink and stuff), so us five are now existing in a little village in Southern Russia, by the Avoz sea. An approximate year ago, we bought a piece of land there, put a little living box in the middle (it’s like a house, but from the outside looks more like a train wagon. quite hard to describe, so I’d better post a picture of that later.) and now kind of attempt to stay sane and alive.

Secondly, the things I’m up to
Actually, I don’t think I do anything special. No too-farm things, like herding the cows or anything. Shopping mostly. Or getting the water sometimes. You see, the water running in our drains is completely impossible to use as it smells like rotten eggs and changes its colour sometimes being white, green, black and etc. Moreover, I read a lot (or, at least, pretend to read a lot). The last book I held in hands was Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry (there’s going to be my review of it someday). I also joined the local drama club recently and am now playing one of the main parts on the Neptune’s Day on July, 27. Besides, I’m dying of boredom and watching and rewatching various britcom shows such as Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Mind Your Language, Snuff Box, and Takin’ Over The Asylum (not quite a comedy, I presume, but nevertheless). And I miss the mates helluva lot. My phone’s broken down (and we ourselves are flat broke at the time being, by the way), so there’s absolutely no chance of celebrating summer with anyone but the four psychos I have to live with. And there ain’t no cure from the summertime blues. And it’s such a bore.

Thirdly, and now for the news
Well, to start with, I suppose you lot are all dying to get to know how all this visa thing has passed. Well, keep calm and wait for me to write about it in “Four-ly” (there’s no such word, I’m afraid, but, as usual, who cares?). Talking of other news, I don’t think we have many of them, and most of the news me have is bad news. Our turtle (whose name, by the way, was Mock. Guess who’s idea this name was) is gone now, and it’s a massive pity. Besides, our nan (from dad’s side) has come to visit us in here and now it’s an actual Nanageddon (without, unfortunately, Vince Noir and Howard Moon). All Mum’s flowers are pulled up and footworn, all cutlery is at the wrong places, and all of us are completely nuts. Everything is as it must be in Grandma’s opinion. Oh, and she’s speaking Tartar (one of my halves belongs to that nation, by the way) being sure that we all comprehend what the heck she is saying, so there’s literally buckets of misunderstanding between us now. And I massively miss communication now. Never thought I’d ever do anything like it. Well, I suppose that’s all of the news for now. Nah, that’s not. I forgot to mention that I was riding a horse recently. I ACTUALLY DID RIDE A FUDGING HORSE. There’s a bloke down the road who raises them, and the other day he did us a favour letting me, Nazar and Dinara ride them (mostly because of the Dinara, who is obsessed with all these girlie pinkish horses and ponies and stuff and shouts about her obsession all the time). So, that happened. I can’t say I love or adore horses or anything, but that felt pretty wonderful. Like a Texas cowboy galloping into the setting sun down the lonely road after beating all the villains in the Wild West and saving life of the most beautiful young lady around here, who soon will become his wife, or something like that. Just fantabulous. Damn the CR, career, damn the sodding everything. I’ve ridden a horse. What else can I possibly want from now on? Now that’s definitely all of the news.

“Four-ly”, the visa journey
So. The most interesting thing that has happened to me (considering the fact that, apart from this – and the horse thing – , nothing special has happened). My trip to Moscow and the whole visa thing. As you may or may not know, it has taken three days, from the 25th to 27th days of the sixth month. 25th of June about 1 a.m., I catched a train to Moscow and settled in. I was pretty nervous about the whole thing because, in spite of the fact that the aim was pretty crucial for me, I was making a trip to an unknown city completely on my own for the first time in my life, and God knew what could have happened to the little blue-eyed me. The next day sleeping was all I did. Oh, and I also did ask the conductor to wake me up half an hour before arriving at 4:30 a.m. 26th of June about ten minutes before we arrive, I was waken up by a man shouting “Two coffees, no sugar, please”. That’s not really a conductor lady half-whispering “Sorry to disturb you, but you’ve asked to raise you at four, and it’s four”, is it? So whatever, I, fortunately, still had enough time to prepare to meet one of the biggest megalopolises on Earth, the capital of Russia, the one, the only, Moscow. By the way, that was the day my phone started breaking down, and I desperately needed to charge it. I wasn’t sure if the train station was opened yet or not, so the first thing I did was trying to spend an hour (or, at least, a half of it) in the Starbucks. That way, I could finally wake up and start preparing for the interview. A strong green tea and a pair of cookies helped me to get the first done, but, by the time I got back my ability to think there were too many people in there chatting and queueing and laughing and drinking coffee and whatever they people drink and so on and so on. Obviously, this by no chance could be called a peaceful/working atmosphere, so, as usual, I had to move on. I left the Starbucks at about five, and, fortunately, could now go to the station. Thank God, some guard guy in there helped me with finding somewhere to charge my phone a little so that I could phone Mum and Dad and tell me I’m doing okay. As the phone was charging, I went to the loo to get changed, replacing an awfully big and cozy yellow t-shirt and a pair of jeans with black trousers and a white blouse, an official style. I felt like a spy, to be frank, who gets into the building looking like one person, and then walks out of it as a completely different one. (Isn’t a quite mature comparison, is it? Well, whatever.) After all this making up and everything, went back to take the phone and then set my head towards the consulate of the Czech Republic, which is placed – I will never forget the address now – in Yuliusa Fuchika St., 12-14. As I still had three hours or so before the start of the June’s winner The Most Complicated And Nerves-Taking Procedure Of The Month award, I decided the best I could do is to eat something again. (it started looking like a kind of my motto now. “If you have some time to spare, eat”. i hope it’s not, actually). Found the nearest takeaway restaurant (which happened to be a KFC), had a Coke and some French fries, and started preparing for the interview thinking of replies to questions about where I’m going to study, where I’m going to live, how much does it all cost, where I’ll study after I’ll have studied where I’m going to study first, where I’m going to live after I’ll have studied everywhere I want to study, what’s the Prague Spring and why there’re no such things like the Prague Winter, the Prague Summer or the Prague Autumn etc. Afterwards, checked all the documents I needed to have to get a “vizum”, looked at the clock, which claimed that this important and sunny day is only eight hours old (which is somewhere about my age for a day, I think), and set off to the building. As it always happens, the front view of the building of the Czech consulate looked greatly fabulous and breath-taking – you know, all these flags and reliefs and emblems and all this pompous stuff – but that turned out to be not exactly where I had to go. Where I had to go turned out to be a small door at the very-very-very end, all covered in graffities and things not too pleasant to look at. The door was all covered with great number of people talking, drinking coffee (again), shouting and discussing. Quite a lot of them were here to get a visa to study in CR – just like me – but there were quite a few of them I liked. For example, there was a girl in school uniform and with fair hair. She has just graduated from school. She came with both of her parents, because they found it extremely binding to be with her and support her. They were going on and on and on about how clever she is, how brilliantly she passed all her exams, how generous they always are when it comes to their precious daughter, who is, by the way, much more mature than “this gingerish trampy orphan who has never heard about a comb and haven’t even finished school” (this must be me, I suppose) etc etc. You know, such a perfect family of three snobs. Maybe they weren’t snobs and actually they are quite good people, but then for me they happened to be just people from the queue whom you accidentally start hating just from mere boredom. The people I did get on with was Sveta, who was two or three years older than me and came from Syktyvkar (the capital of Komi Republic, where I came from), already at the uni, but not actually lovin’ it; and my namesake, Veronica (yes, that’s my full name, and I think it sounds much more stupid than “Nica”, so, don’t you even think of daring to call me that) from Bratsk, a graduator, goes to the same language courses and has already tried to get a visa this year, but, as we now can see, failed her interview (because she hadn’t quite know what to do and where to study after the courses). At about 9:15 a.m. (all of us had been asked to be there at 8:30), the door was opened, and we all started to get into the building with the speed of a snail. At the entrance, there was a guard and this airportish thing that checks what’s inside your carriage. All the queue were instructed to go to the waiting room, inside which particularly I started feeling rather uncomfortable, and to queue there. The rest of the time (I had to go only at almost 1 p.m.) was given to wait for your turn, so we checked our documents again and again, watched TV (there were two sets in the room), visited the lavatory, trembled from being all nervous, and chatted. As I was waiting, Dasha called (she lives in the borough of Moscow and is a close e-friend of mine) saying she’s came. The thing is, God only knew the whole procedure would’ve taken so long, and I had asked her to step up to the consulate at 11 o’clock or so. She wasn’t allowed in, so I went out, we had a hug, swapped presents (a Krasnodar tea from me and a book about John-Yoko relationships from her), and I had to go back. The snobistic girl with fair hair, who was way before me, came back to the room in tears. She completely failed the whole thing. The cow had asked to get another type of visa while registrating online. “Serves them right”, thought I. In the queue requesting a student visa I was one of the last, I suppose.When my turn came, I had to go into a corridor and then give the documents to the second window out of ten. Just as I was doing it, I noticed Veronica from Bratsk going off crying. Not sure what happened, but I really do hope she’s fine. After all the documents were checked and all the forms filled, the lady told me to move towards the exit and to pay the visa fee of 91 euros and then get back to the building at 13:30, after they have a lunch, in time for the interview. Unfortunately, I had only rubles, which they didn’t take, so I had an hour or so to visit the currency exchange, meet Dasha again (she was still waiting outside), have a meal, and get changed again (the blouse, just as the weather, was quite cold, and no one really cared about the clothes, so whatever). So, me and Dasha went to the nearest bank office and, after that, decided to pay a visit to a KFC again. It was a rush hour and the amount of people was inappropriately more than enormous. The queues were all around, and we even had to wait to get a pair of seats near a middle-aged Chinese-looking couple (not that we were longing to sit near them; that was the only option, as you may have already understood), and that’s not mentioning trying to get something to eat. We finished our snacks near 13:15, I went to the ladies’ to get changed that bleeding blouse of mine (a foreveric “hate, hate and hate you” from me to official style) to a fantastically comfy and warm shirt made of my grand-grandmother’s dress. Me and Dasha headed our ways to the ambassador’s again. And farewelled in the doorstep. Now, the interview. Apart from your and my expectations, the interviewing guy had no jaws and wasn’t too inquisitive (No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!). On the contrary, the questions were rather simple and general and said quietly and with a funny (and, mostly, ununderstandable) accent. I think I passed. Undoubtedly, there’s a huge likeliness that, in reality, I acted like crap and they’ll have to arrest and kill me if I will try to approach the building ever again. Still, I pray Heavens it’s not all that bad. I had a ticket for a 15:30 train, but the fact that I got free literally at 15:25 meant that there was no possibility of going to the grocery store to get some food for the next 26 hours and coming to the train station on time, so, as you guess, I missed it and had to go later, at nine p.m. or something. That way, I had six hours and not a penny to spare, alone in a big unknown city. God knows how I managed to manage not to die of despair watching all these people and shop windows and cinemas and monuments and so on and so forth and understanding what a craphole my hometown is and that I will have to live without all these fabulous stuff at least for the next few month. Luckily, this torture ended, followed by another day in peace, with no family or other people I would have to talk to, but with chips and instant noodles and other stuff that makes life of a me more pleasant to live.

“Five-ly” (there’s no such word as well, but nevermind), things I had missed
Yes, while I was offline, quite a lot of things have happened in the Outer World. Ringo Starr celebrated his 74th birthday, Noel Fielding’ve been on stage with the Kasabian and Monty Python and Eddie Izzard, middle- and highschoolers of Russia (amongst who there are a lot of friends of mine) has passed their state exams, some of my closest friends have celebrated their birthdays, the shoot of “High-rise” with Tom Hiddleston has begun and so on and so forth. I just want you to know that I’m sorry to have missed all that.

So, I suppose that’s all for now.
Take care.
Peace and love and good luck,
nica

P.S. TWO DAYS AGO OR SO, AFTER HAVING WRITTEN THIS POST, I GOT AN ANSWER FROM NOEL FIELDING. (not quite an answer from mr fielding himself, okay, but still) a sighed picture of Noel and a note from some dude called Sophie from PBJ. I’m literally jumping and shouting out loud for joy and happiness. A big “thank you” to the wonderful Sophie and other guys at PBJ management. Here’s the photo. a mother-flicking answer from Noel
See the children running in the mash potato fields.
Love you all, me x