I'm finally here in Khanty-Mansiysk in our hotel! My teammates and myself definitely have traveled a long way. Some of them have been traveling for 48 hours so I consider myself lucky to have traveled for only 24 hours. Howeeeverrrrr, my clothes baggage didn't get on the JFK plane to Moscow so I'm now in "survival" mode until my bag gets here. Oi! My snowboarding bag is here, though, and that's what really matters :)
The experience has been interesting thus far. There are some noticeable cultural differences right off the bat when we arrived in Russia. What we consider rude is considered normal for the Russians. For example, they don't smile or make little comments if you make an eye contact with a stranger. They just don't change their facial expressions. They also don't avoid eye contact. They'll just look at you with unchanging facial expressions. It's a little hard not to take it personal at first, but it's easy to get over it. If they bump into you, they don't apologize or look back. They just keep on walking. Sounds the Russian culture has that in common with the deaf culture, eh? :) It'll be interesting to see what else I'll learn about the Russian culture.
So far, it's crazy to think this hotel room will be our home for the next couple of weeks. We have wifi, but I can only update my blog via computer. Originally I can update via my phone and i could add my pictures but... ah. that requires having a phone service. Soooo my plan backfired on me but thankfully my roommate has a computer so I'll borrow it every now and then, but it'll be a challenge to upload pictures so I'll do my best! Remember, you can follow deaflympics2015 on your facebook or go to http://www.2015deaflympics.org/. They post more frequently than I do :)
Nothing really is happening right now really. People are getting settled in the hotel. We don't know when we will check out the slopes or what our mode of transportation is or even where the closest drug store is so I can buy some personal hygiene stuff if my bag doesn't get here today. I hope to get some answers later this morning!
Side note: It's 6am here which means 9pm EST. If you want to add this time zone on your phone, look up "Yekaterinburg, Russia" - That'll give you our time zone. Cheerios! :)