Far too much work to get finished by the end of the year, it's an impossibility. But I keep plugging away at it as my remaining few days in this position tick away. In some perverted ways, I'll miss this project, and this department (it's been my introduction to the world of work, and has taught me much), but the time is right for a change, and there are many mundane tasks which I'll certainly be glad to pass on to some other sucker.

In the evening some kind colleagues treat me to a meal. During conversation they teach me some city slang, and I teach them how to use a vinegar bottle. It seems like a pretty fair exchange of knowledge.

Some seasonal mirth, courtesy of a colleague:

A Russian man and his wife are wandering down a street one cold evening, when they are suddenly caught in a spot of inclement weather.

"Is it raining or snowing?" asks the man.

"I think it's snowing," replies the woman.

At that point, they pass Rudolph, a minor communist party official, walking in the opposite direction.

"Rudolph, is it officially snowing or raining?" asks the man.

"Raining, comrade." replies Rudolph firmly, as he walks past.

A few minutes later the woman comments "I still think it's snowing. Why is Rudolph so sure that it isn't?"

"Rudolph the red knows rain, dear" replies her husband.