A guest post and an update

barbed wireWarning: be prepared.

First of all, you can head over to the lovely Montgomery Fest  site and check out my guest post. The lovely couple is on a swoon-worthy road trip through Europe so I wrote about my terrible (but eventually fruitful) drive to work last year.

Second of all, I’m making the jump to my very own .com over the weekend, so there be may some weirdness as I transition the site over there. I’ll let you know how that goes if I still have my sanity by the end of it! To make sure you’ve got all the good stuff, follow my here on WP (it should eventually redirect you to my new URL) or on Bloglovin’. (Click on the ‘Follow this blog’ to the left.)


Expat tips: how to survive a trip home

swiss alps from airplane20 hours of travel home is more tolerable if you get some sweet views of the Swiss Alps.

Survive may seem a but dramatic, but visiting home as an expat after a long stint abroad is always weird. After having made a foreign land your home for so long, your native land never quite feels the same. So what’s a poor little expat to to? How can you cope with the feeling that your a stranger in your own land?

Well, I’ve got a few tips I like to employ when I’m home:

Before you leave, make a list of everything you’ve missed from your home. Almost inevitably you’ll feel a bit adrift when you first visit home. To stave off the feelings of “I just want to go back” use the list and take time to indulge in everything you were going crazy to do while abroad. After almost a year in Russia my list usually includes Mexican food, driving, and stocking up on reasonably priced clothing.

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Guest Post: “The Expat Show”

Hi guys! While I’m somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, I though I’d introduce the first in what I hope is a series of guest posts by fellow expats from around the world. (If you’re interested in contributing, send me an email: pollyheathrussia[at]gmail[.]com!)

Today’s wonderful guest post comes from Michaela (check out her Ecuador blog) who is writing about the surreal reality show feel of being an expat. Check it out:

I can probably blame it on my family and the logic of birth order, but narcissistically I’ve always been convinced that my daily happenings are of great import to the rest of the world. Granted, I rarely admit to it, and I may not really believe it, but deep down inside, I’ve always felt like the world was watching me and waiting to discover more about Michaela cause I’m SPECIAL in some way. In fact, as a child, I was certain that my life was a TV show and would do things for my viewing audience to keep them entertained (1. That is real. I did that. 2. In talking to friends, apparently I’m not the only one who was completely egocentric as a child, as one other admits to doing this as well). When I watched the movie The Truman Show with Jim Carrey, my self-importance was confirmed–someone, somewhere, was trying to tell me that my life was the Truman Show in a very meta way (although, I had never heard of meta at the time).

truman show

If you haven’t seen The Truman Show, the basic premise is that a man’s entire life is actually a TV show but he doesn’t know about it. He lives in an artificial world, everyone he knows is a hired actor, and the whole world can watch him 24/7 to see what he’s doing.

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Какой сегодня праздник? (What’s today’s holiday?)

I’m not going to bother commenting at length on the Navalny case. We all knew it was coming. Mass protests happened last night in Moscow and other cities and will probably continue this weekend. If the Kremlin wanted to choose the path that makes them look the worst and Navalny look like some martyr, they did a good job. (NB: In the middle of writing this post, Navalny and Ofitserov were released on bail. The Russian justice system occasionally works when they’re afraid a mob will burn down their building…)

Looking to keep occupied while listening to the various live videos from the Navalny courtroom, I decided I needed to get busy and write a blog post.

lemon cake and raspberry jam

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What my lovely, LOL-worthy ESL students say

Out of three years and hundreds of students, I can count on my hand the number of students that I really dreaded seeing every day. They’re a certain type: age 17-23, think they’re absolutely too good for everyone, and forced to attend English by their parents. Luckily, I’ve avoided these kinds of students for the most part. With even more luck, I usually manage to have a good time with my classes. I may not always like my job, but I like my students and (I think) they like me.

One of my favorite parts of teaching English is hearing hilarious mistakes. As someone who says approximately 5000 stupid things in Russian every day, it’s refreshing to remember that other people are in the same boat as me. It’s not a malicious thing at all and half they time they don’t even understand why what they’re saying is funny. I just make a small correction and laugh myself silly inside my head.

Oh, and thank Lady of the Cakes for this stellar idea!

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Procrastination and Summer Plans



I somehow tweaked my back and I’ve been hobbling around like a nastoyashaya babushka (real grandma) these past few days. I’m alternately laying totally flat or standing up in the balcony to ease the discomfort and it’s kind of working. Instead of working on several things I should be doing, I’m currently watching a storm roll in over the city and getting prematurely nostalgic about losing our great view.

We’re leaving this apartment at the end of this week and planning to move just a little ways out of the city to live with the Russky’s family for a bit. Since I won’t be working for the rest of the summer it’s a good way to save money (although a pain since where they live is traffic jam central). I think I could live in Moscow for 1,000 years and never get tired of complaining about traffic.
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