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Alexandra N.

alexandra_n­_smAn artist, an architect, and an interior designer. Willing to act as a guide/driver in exchange for English conversation practice.  Her services used to be entirely free till recently but things here are starting to go down with people’s preference for hard cash rather than generosity and informal barter deals as one of the consequences.  Now compensation in the form of a tank of gas will be gratefully accepted. Alexandra’s everyday English is passable. It is no longer a form of torture to talk to her and especially her son who used to talk in long convoluted sentences sort of the way I do. I took the brunt of it and now his style is short simple and to the point.

This offer is for talkative people only!


More about Alexandra from one of the older pages

First, don’t confuse her with another Alexandra listed here. That other Alexandra works at the Kandalaksha Nature Reserve, travel around the north a lot, and in the process of dragging me to beyond the arctic circle. 

Back to Alexandra-the-artist. As an artist she specialized in the restoration of medieval paintings and especially Orthodox icons. Alexandra’s interests include old towns. A good person to travel around Gold Ring or to go to Staritsa, where she has a dacha. A fast confident driver. “Respectable” car although at the time I don’t know what it is and don’t have a photo. Something nondescript and modern.


Here this professor’s daughter and an artist put on the image of a tough truck driver. To me, after 10 years of rural exile, this is more of a shift supervisor at a dairy kolkhoz.

Since 2010 she was on my list of those seeking free English conversation practice in exchange for being a guide and a driver. Our relationship started with my teaching English her and her son. I always insist on conversation practice with a variety of people to compliment lessons. They complied and now speak quite well if you stick to everyday topics. Now, in these tougher times, when oil prices are about to drop and Russia, with its resource-dependent economy,  is beginning its descent to hell, she can no longer afford to take a day off work with no financial compensation. You’ll need to at least fill her car up. Think of her as a driver with a huge discount, about 50% off going rates. Since the idea for taking $$ for driving is below Alexandra, who till recently was doing very well, I will not release her e-mail but will personally administer requests for her services and monitor that you cover direct costs.

So write to and I’ll immediately relay your message to Alexandra but will also monitor the situation.