Minggu, 20 Desember 2009

When it hits -26, then you know it’s time to go home.

I now have 3 days left in Moscow before I return home for 6 whole weeks over Christmas! I can’t actually describe how much I want to go home! I’ve think I’ve been ready for the last 4 weeks (definitely had to restrain myself from packing my suitcase home at the beginning of December).

Over the last two weeks I really feel like I’ve just been existing, waiting to go home rather than really doing anything! The weather has turned completely crazy. It went from being around +5 to -15 overnight. A major shock to the system!! The coldest it’s been is -27. I’ve never been so cold in my life… walking to the metro felt like I was being hit repeatedly in the face! It’s a weird feeling because obviously everyone dresses warm (my standard outfit is tights, jeans, thick socks, 2 t-shirts, jumper, hoodie, coat, scarf, hat, gloves, boots) and so my body is never cold – it’s just my face! I really wish a balaclava was an acceptable accessory.

Here's what my street has looked like for the past 2 weeks:

Because it’s been so cold we’ve all just been going home after school and staying in all night. This has helped my Gossip Girl addiction (nearly up to date with the UK!) but not really made these last few weeks any easier. I’ve just kinda been sat at home really REALLY missing my friends and family. I totally understand Mariah now in that song All I want for Christmas is you. I don’t care about any of the rubbish surrounding Christmas – presents, decorations, massive meals... blahblahblah. I just want to see my friends and family more than anything else. I’m slightly concerned I’m gonna cry my eyes out when I meet them at Heathrow (in fact let’s face it, I totally am). I am however going to LOVE the fact that I will be doing a Love Actually style arrival. Hopefully Colin Firth will be there.

I’m a little worried that I will get too comfy at home and find it really difficult to come back to Russia. Fortunately my friend is coming back with me for a bit of Russian style travelling at the beginning of my term… so I will HAVE to come back! But as I look back over my blogs from my first term here I remember how much fun I have had here, how living abroad is helping me to grow up, have amazing experiences and probably most importantly trust God more than I ever have done before. So even though it is hard right now I think it’s just because I’m homesick. 6 weeks at home should refresh me to face Russia again in February!

Huddersfield, prepare the red carpet. Brier is coming back.

Selasa, 08 Desember 2009

Stories from the metro…

As you all know I love the metro. It seems so simple yet so effective (yes I know it obviously isn’t that simple but to my naïve eyes it just all seems to run so smoothly). I spend at least 1 and a half hours on the metro everyday just getting to school and back. From this have developed my new favourite hobby: people watching.

Now I don’t do this in a stalker-ish way. I just love looking at people and making up their life stories based on what I see. Some may call this judging. I call it observing. For examples on Sunday I was sat opposite an old woman who was completely covered in fur. Her hat, coat, scarf, gloves and even her boots were made of fur. Over the half an hour journey I saw her whole life (well my version of it at least). I decided that she was born into a rich family and so could afford fur coats, but then at some point her family had lost money and so now she had to take the metro with everyone else but she had still held onto her fur clothes so as not to completely lose her past. This could be the influence of Gossip Girl. But it’s a fun game… try it!

On the metro you see all walks of life. Moscow is a huge, vibrant city full of different kinds of people and everyday all those people use the metro. This means travelling on the metro makes you witness all kinds of events. Sometimes I see things that break my heart, and other times I see things that fill me with joy…

Recently a man was on my metro in a wheelchair. The Moscow metro is NOT wheelchair friendly. Too many steps and escalators and no ramps. This man had some friends with him who carried him up the stairs but he was obviously uncomfortable. People were staring and even pointing. It made me so angry. Then I started thinking about all those people who don’t have friends to help them through the metro and it made me so sad. There must be people all over Moscow stuck in their homes just because the main mode of transport in this city is not wheelchair friendly.

But through generations things like this could change. A few days ago I saw something that completely filled me with joy…

I saw a little boy pestering and pestering his mum. He obviously wanted something bad. I thought perhaps he wanted sweets or toys, he had the same look I gave (ok give!) my mum when we walk down the sweetie isle in Sainsburys! He was not giving up until he got what he wanted… so the pestering continued. When she realised he wasn’t going to stop she reached into her pocket and gave him 10 rubles (20p). I watched him carry it to a homeless woman who was begging. He gave it to her, smiled and ran back to his mum. All that pestering was because he had wanted to help someone who he realised needed something more than him.

We could all learn from this little boy. Unless WE pester those who appear wiser and more powerful than us then none of the injustices in the world will change. I will end with such a cliché of a quote, but that doesn’t make it any less true: Children are the future. That fills me with hope.