Web Page Reactions

You oughta see what people say to me!

When I first started this site, I was bored out of my mind
waiting for the Peace Corps to get its act together, so I wrote a few
pages late at night. Now that the page is almost 10 megabytes of
information, stories, and photos, I am getting a quite a bit of traffic,
and several emails a day. The vast majority of reviews are
positive, even excluding my family and friend’s responses. Here is
an honest sample of the non-family emails I received so far, which makes
me a bit proud of this time-consuming monster I created. My
comments are in italic.

Former Peace Corps Volunteers

Hey Buddy!

Cute pic! You’ve grown a little fuzz I see. So, you are a
private sector man, That’s pretty cool as long as you are enjoying
yourself..I loved the site by the way….It made me a little sad


Prospective Expats:


My mom’s shipping me off to Russia in August to be an exchange
student, and I have just one question: Do they have Jell-O shots
over there? (Actually we don’t have Jell-O, but we do have
generic gelatin.)



Hey Wayan, I’m enjoying your WEB site. I’ve traveled alone
through Europe, North Africa and the Middle East…am I being
naive thinking that traveling through Russia will be just as
adventurous? I plan to travel the Trains Siberian/BAM railway in
the beginning of 2000. I’ve done loads of ‘surfing’ on the WEB
reading other peoples’ adventures (yours is about the best) and
the consensus is the bureaucracy for travelers sucks. Just getting
a tourist visa could be a bit of a hassle, though it can’t be as
bad as your visa nightmares. I’ve always dreamt of traveling the
Trans Siberian and now that the ‘cold war’ is over I’m anxious to
do it! Thanks for a great WEB site.


Hi there!

Just thought to drop an e-mail to say that I had enjoyed
reading what you had posted on your site. I ‘stumbled’
here when I was surfing around, looking for information on Russia
coz I’ll be taking a trip to Russia in August and I am trying to
find some things on it. I do like your webpage coz I find it very
humorous and slightly informative. And yes, those bloody phone
lines REALLY sucks huh? (Yes!)


Old Expats:


Hi, Just stumbled across your web page and found it
interesting. I spent a couple of years in Moscow and enjoyed it.
Is Sheremetro still dark and gloomy? (Of course!) What is
the price of a piva now? (In the store: $1 for Russian beer, $2
for Imports.)
Keep up the messages.


Hello, and Preveit !

i just read your site, from front to back. it is quite an
adventure. i know this because i was in Russia recently. i feel
your pain. although it was a strange and wondrous place for
me, it was actually an adventure. you describe everything so true,
reading your site reminds me of Russia so well.

i have written a journal of my journey there, perhaps i can
have it up on a website soon. in the meantime, thanks for putting
up the site, it is PRAVDA ! Paka !



What you write about Russia, in my opinion, is exactly right.
Ya soglasyen s vame. Mnogo lyet tomy nazad I was a student of
Russian (Army Lang. School) I envy you living in Russia. I wanted
to live in Novgorod. Being a native New Yorker I liked Nevsky
Prospect in St Petersburg and Arbatskaya in Moscow. I live in
Orlando (worked for the mouse ) but I would trade this life style
for one in Russia. I read your page with much interest. Thanks

Poka ot Dicka

Friend’s Parents:

Dear Wayan,

Jenna forwarded your last e-mail to her, so I’ve spent the last
hour and a half going through your web site and thoroughly
enjoying it. So much so, that I called St. Edward’s computer
teacher and told her to look at the sight; I think the kids would
really get a kick out of it, and it definitely gives them a dose
of reality.

Mrs. A.

Random People:


Great website! I’m going to use a few details I found in your
‘Random Russia Experiences’ section in a language arts
textbook (so I hope your facts are CORRECT!!!) I spent 6 weeks in
Orlando last year (I’m from the SF Bay Area) and I liked it there
very much. I did lots of bike riding and Western line dancing. You
seem like a great person–I’m glad you joined the Peace Corps.

Take care, Robyn

And Russians Who Disagree with Me:


ok, im Alex and im russian……well, ok, i can understand a
lot of things and im actually a free minded person but i can’t
stand when one sucker tries to crack a (bleep) about my
county……i don’t say that u said a full lie, but when u show
one side of the story , think u have to show another as well, huh

as i’ve noticed in ur (bleep) country the situation is
the same or worse, but u feel ashamed by urselves and tries to
show what’s dirty and wild Russia, right? pollution, fires, dogs,
drunk (bleep)……don’t u think that it’s not fair like
this? to wonder about the things u have there as well?

ok, everyone can have his own opinion. i just DON’T like when
some (bleep) tries to make a one side as a full story!

ciao, :–

(After this intense flame, I emailed Alex about his
concerns, and we came to an understanding. He was a bit
harsh in his flame, and I get a bit sarcastic on my web page.
We are both trying to be more open minded in the future.)