We’re just finishing up the first week of classes here and thus far it has been amazing. Math in Moscow has this interesting policy where you can try out any class for the first three weeks of the term, and then get to make your final choice for classes that semester. I tried a couple of classes that I wasn’t sure if I was going to take, namely Differential Geometry and Calculus on Manifolds, but decided that the fourth math class would be too much. This semester I’m submitting graduate school applications and taking the math subject GRE, so 3 math classes and the Russian language class I think will be more than enough to keep me busy. The math classes that I have settled on are Topology, Basic Algebra, and Complex Analysis. I’m very excited about the amount of cool math I get to learn over the coming months. Apart from the great courses, I think one of the best aspects of this experience, for me at least, is the great community of math people. Normally, there is hardly anyone I can discuss math problems with or talk about classes. But here, everyone is extremely interested in math and wants to be here. So this makes for a great community feel and an awesome environment to develop my math skills.
So I discovered these pretty delicious things called pelmeni, which are little dumplings with various fillings. So far I’ve had meat filled ones and other ones filled with potato. They are really good with sour cream, easy to make, and seemed like a natural choice for a quick dinner especially after a long day at class or something. One day, we went to the big grocery store called Ashan to get some food. I thought “Gee, I ate a bunch of pelmeni last night, so I must need more.” I did not remember the very important fact that the pelmeni I ate the night before were not mine, but in fact belonged to Joey (a fellow MiM student, don’t worry I didn’t steal them. We had a communal meal). So I then bought 1.5 kilos of pelmeni (1 kg = 2.2 lb). I get home and go to put them in my freezer only to discover that I still had 1.5 kilos in the freezer. I now have 3 kilos of pelmeni and have kind of gotten tired of eating them.
Last Saturday and Sunday the city of Moscow had events in honor of the city’s birthday (called Ð´ÐµÐ½ÑŒ Ð³Ð¾Ñ€Ð¾Ð´Ð°). On Saturday evening, a group of us went to see a concert held in celebration of Ð´ÐµÐ½ÑŒ Ð³Ð¾Ñ€Ð¾Ð´Ð°. The concert was pretty awesome. They held it in front of the Bolshoi theater and had a light show on the front of the theater. They sang some songs in Russian, played some jazz song, and played some classical music. All in all, I really enjoyed it. We left the concert early (around 10pm) since the fireworks started at 10:30 and we wanted to try and get a good spot. We fell in with the crowd and proceeded to Red Square. When we finally got to a likely place, we saw some trails of smoke from some fireworks that were going off. Apparently a big building was blocking our view. Then just as we were about to leave (along with the rest of the crowd), a bunch of fireworks went off right over our heads. It was pretty good, but too short in my opinion. But apart from that, I liked that we were able to be here to celebrate Moscow’s birthday.