The topic of discussion this week between me and my friends in Moscow has been that of recycling. We have debates in one of our classes and this week the theme has been ‘the environment’. I realised pretty early on that recycling was going to be virtually impossible here. When I asked my landlady where I should put my glass and plastic bottles she laughed and said ‘You’re in Russia now’ and pointed to the bin. When I put paper, plastic and glass all into the bin with the other rubbish I die a little bit on the inside and can hear a voice in my head saying ‘It is YOU that is killing the planet.’ I’ve even considered saving all my plastic bottles and instead of taking clothes home, packing my suitcase full of bottles to recycle in England. But I think that might be a bit mad. There are machines on most streets where you can deposit your plastic bottles for ‘recycling’ but I’m not really sure where they get taken to! And so far I have seen no evidence of recycling bins anywhere. It scares me when I think of how big Russia is and how much waste it creates and therefore how much harm this is doing to the world. I’m not saying England has all the answers – but at least it has recycling bins in every home!
Another thing I’ve noticed the past week is that we have all suddenly at the same time become so depressed! In my Moscow guide book it says, ‘You don’t have to believe in SADS (Seasonally Affected Disorder Syndrome) to feel its effect during the long Russian winter. Anyone staying more than a month can easily get run-down owing to a lack of vitamins, and depressed by the darkness and ice.’ When I read this I laughed and thought how such a silly thing like the weather can affect people so much. But it really does! Now it gets dark so quick in the day, I haven’t seen the sun for weeks and everyday I risk falling over through the slush on the way to school. It is depressing. We’re definitely all feeling it and there have been a lot more tears and fed up faces over the past week. Sometimes it is completely uncontrollable – I was just talking to Anabelle about two of my friends who I miss so much and tears just started rolling down my face! I wasn’t even sad! I tried to stop it but I think we’ve all got to the point where we just need a really really good cry! Truthfully I am quite sad at the moment and so ready for a few weeks at home. But SADS will not defeat me! I am a strong, independent woman – nothing can hold me back! (Hmm. I still think I’m Beyonce) I’ve got exactly 5 weeks left which are going to go so fast – so the best thing to do is to enjoy them. Easier said than done; especially now everyone is running out of money so we can’t go out anymore. But with my new found addiction to Gossip Girl the weeks will fly by!