My hotel is ... well, lets put this as a compliment .. very Russian !! At first it may look a little dated and in need of some tlc but its just big and functional with no frills, just like the rest of the country. Its not what you would call an international hotel, everything is in Russian only including the staff which seem very friendly but who knows :), my room has the obligatory full size fridge and 80's tv in the corner, and as for the plumbing .. its 'functional', apart from the shower head that can point in any direction except towards you but at least the floor gets a wash every morning even if I don't. In terms of speaking Russian I am still trudging with basic pleasentries so no chance of "excuse me but can you send up a man with screwdriver to fix the shower", its not going to happen ! Despite this and what us Brits may think its actually a very easy country to stay in, folk are easy going and do not give you any hassle and things just work, even the cars and trucks that look like someone pinched from a scrapyard !
My excellent host Oleg introduced me to a few of the teachers this morning before heading out around the city for some sight seeing, then after a period of free-time (translated that means photo time) it was back to the school to sit for a portrait drawing class of 16-17 yr old students. Have to say the standard of drawing is just excellent, they start serious art very young in Russia which really works.
Tomorrow is the formal opening of the exhibition, kind of excited and nervous.