Hey, all! It’s crunch time here in Polly-land. The Russky and I are due to leave on Thursday for sunny old England for a few days. Buuuut (and there’s always a but, isn’t there?): he hasn’t gotten his visa yet. Can I just say how much more stressful it is trying to travel with someone with a Russian passport? Madness!
So now I’m in a scramble to figure out the visa, change the flight if possible, and do some writing projects that I’ve taken on for other places. I’m not normally this busy so I feel my puny brain overheating as it tries to pull itself in many different directions.
In non-stress news, this weekend I went to check out Moscow’s “Night in the Museum” with some people. Each year Moscow’s museums open themselves to the public until 1AM at reduced prices or free. Of course the lines are epically long, especially for the big museums, but it’s a really fun night when it seems like almost everyone in Moscow is out.
Hey dudes and dudettes! Today I’m trying something a little different and having a guest post. Who doesn’t like finding a new and interesting blog to follow?
Today’s post comes c/o Jenna Longoria: a writer, yogi, and teacher, with an incurable case of wanderlust. You can read more about her tales of expat living, teaching, and tramping at Nomad Notions.
Check it out:
Bad relationships. We have all had them. And if you say you haven’t, you are a liar.
You know the type. Half the time things are going great. Your loved one and you share tender moments, a nice laugh, have a good week or two. And then ^#%265*@*@#! A fight. An argument. Moments that are close to hatred. That make you ask “who the hell is this person, and why am I with them?”. You contemplate leaving. Envision yourself walking away from the chaos and pulling yourself away from the black hole that will eventually suck the life out of you if you don’t escape soon. BUT then…..Things get better again! You “make up”, and laugh about things. You are so encapsulated by each other’s love that damn, what WAS it that you were even fighting about again???
By this point guy or doll, you are stuck in One. Big. Vicious. Cycle.
Well, this type of relationship is the closest metaphor for what it is like teaching my Kindergarten class in Honduras.
I don’t know what it is about spring that makes me so nostalgic, but so it is.
Currently Sochi is in the news for its upcoming role as the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics. In the winter of 2011, Sochi was a little more personal… Mostly because of its cheap flights to and from Moscow. Having a lot of free holiday time but not a lot of money, a friend and I decided that Sochi in the off-season was an excellent choice.
In late December we flew into the local airport, Adler. The airport was small but modern – with an excellent WIFI connection (a pleasant surprise). As we stepped outside we immediately shed our jackets, thrilled to be going without heavy layers for the first time in months. Coming from Moscow’s bitter cold, the Black Sea region’s 50F weather felt just like summer.
Well, it’s May 13th and it’s 80 degrees outside… After a brief Google conversion: about 27C. I still don’t find it easy to understand Celsius once it gets above 5 or so.
Stupid American measuring systems aside, it’s hot.
Now, growing up in Virginia, I understand that this weather is not really hot hot. Russia doesn’t really do hot hot (except for the first month that I lived here, thanks). But for someone who hasn’t seen the sun since last August, it’s a shock to the system. Aggressive sunshine, heat, and total lack of air conditioning is bumming me out and reminding me why Russian winter doesn’t bother me as much as it does other people.
A quick note: I was invited to write a short informational page over at Expats Arrival, a very useful site for expats looking for practical information when moving abroad. I wrote about getting hooked up (technologically speaking) in Russia. If you’re trying to choose an internet provider, I’m your girl!)) Check it out here.
Have you ever had those days where you went to sleep sick, woke up feeling OK, proceeded to go about your merry way, and by the end of the day feel like trash again? I ask this because I’d like to believe that I’m not the only one stupid enough to do this.
OK, I did it twice this week. But it’s vacation! As the second part of our May holidays rolled around, I got a fever. But fever be damned — I was going to celebrate Victory Day!
And the drinks, of course, will totally kill your tab:
Beer (0,5 L): 170 – 400 rubles ($6-12)
Cocktails: you’re lucky if you can find a rum and coke under 300 ($10)
I guess it’s not so expensive, but when you’re basically paying for something fried and/or rubbery, as well as watered-down drinks, it’s kind of a downer to get a check that comes up to about 1000 rubles ($30) per person.
A string of terribly mediocre food got me thinking about one of the restaurants I’ve most enjoyed in Moscow: Montalto.
I’m not massively competitive, but writing under a deadline is super helpful, as I’m not someone who gets anything done when it’s presented to me as an indefinite project.
Anyway, here’s part of something I wrote for a contest (same as a few weeks ago):
I watch wearily as one of the many Svetlanas reaches into her Chanel purse, touches up her MAC lipstick (Russian Red, obviously), all while typing apathetically on her iPhone. It’s 8:30 AM and I’m already questioning my sanity.
I’ve been teaching English in Moscow for three years now. I’ve worked in two private schools that cater to wealthier clientele and their offspring. If you want to regale your friends and family with inspiring tales of helping impoverished children learn their alphabet, or about the struggles of teaching 30-40 children per class, central Moscow is not the place to do it. Instead, you’ll give them other kinds of horror stories: how the rich and privileged ran you ragged, and inevitably the worst teaching day ever.