I haven’t done anything massively interesting in the last week (the only interesting bit of news is that is has turned COLD – literally one day it was 20° and the next it was 5°. Weird.). I guess we’re all used to living here now. The ‘ohmygoodness we’re in MOSCOW’ feeling has worn off a bit. I can now walk past Red Square without feeling the need to take 20 photos from every corner of it. I think because we’re all used to living here now a lot of people have started to count down the weeks until we go home for Christmas. I can completely understand why – obviously everyone misses home but I’m trying really really hard to not get sucked into thinking that we are just temporarily here and that I should be counting down the days until I leave. Obviously I miss things from home, they are all pretty silly though... here’s a few of them:
1. I miss being called Sarah. In Russian my name is pronounced Sara. It’s just not my name!
2. I miss live music. I was thinking the other day how when I was in Birmingham I could go and see bands whenever I wanted but here I just don’t know where to go! And no matter how much internet research I do I just can’t seem to find the Moscow version of the Carling Academy.
3. I miss Redbrick (the student newspaper at Birmingham). I loved being the TV editor last year and I’m really missing it! This blog is the only way to satisfy my inner journalist.
4. I miss being able to just hang out with my friends at home. None of us actually have our own houses – we all live with landladies so now if we want friends over we have to ask permission and we always have to tell them where we’re going and what time we’ll be home. No more running round the street at 3am to see my friends. And this means that every time we wanna hang out we need to go to a café/bar/restaurant which means spending money. Annoying.
5. (A less stupid one) I miss my friends!!!! Obviously this is natural but I fear it has made me even more addicted to facebook. I’m now stalking most of my friends every night and annoying them by forcing them to chat to me whenever they are on facebook chat. I should probably stop before I annoy them all so much that they desert me when I touch down in the UK.
OK so that sounded like a bit of a moan – I didn’t want it to! I just want to be honest about what I’m feeling here, or this blog is pretty pointless. Anyway over the past few days I have started to develop a new feeling, it is a ‘Wow. I actually DO live in Moscow’ feeling. I was thinking last night about how when I started my Russian course the year abroad seemed so far away and I don’t think I actually believed it would ever come (and I was terrified every time I thought about the fact that I would have to live in Russia for a year). But it is here. And I’m ok. I must have grown up so much in the last two years! When I started university I didn’t cope well at all. I wasn’t settled and I missed my home so much. It took me about a year and a half to really enjoy living in Birmingham. I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle moving to another new place and having to do it all over again, but actually… I really am fine! It has just seemed so natural for me to move here and every time things are a bit hard (as they inevitably are going to be in a foreign country) I can always find reasons to remind myself why I’m here. I’ve been given such a great opportunity to live and study abroad for a year that I really hope I’m making the most of it!
I’ll end this blog with some of the reasons I love Moscow! I’m trying to convince one of my friends to come and visit me so here is the list I gave him as to why he should come. I hope it convinces more of you to come visit me!!! - then the problem of missing my friends will disappear ;)
1. Moscow, Tokyo, London, New York, Paris = best cities in world. Come here and you’ve got 1 down.
2. You can see a dead man (Lenin)
3. There are 2 men that dress up as Lenin and Stalin and stand on red square (HILARIOUS – how could you not want to see that?)
4. So much culture, so little time.
5. Cafes/bars/clubs are beyond amazing.
6. Sushi is cheap.
7. The metro (enough said)
8. The potatoes (ditto)
9. The honesty – some people call it rude but I’m beginning to love the bluntness of Russian culture. In the UK I can never tell if people really mean what they say… here they are (brutally) honest!
10. The people – Russian people are the most generous, honest, loving people. They may seem rude in the street but once you make friends with them you have got a real friend. I love that.