Sunday, October 14, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I can barely believe it myself, but yesterday marked the end of my 4th week in Moscow.  A whole month.  Maybe it's because I've been so busy working, but it doesn't really seem like I've been here that long.  Although on the other hand, it already feels like home and I've more or less established a rhythm. 

This week(end) has been full of surprises, so I'll jot some of them down.  By far my favorite part was seeing Jackie, one of my best friends (hi Jackie).  We met while studying in Petersburg 2 years ago where we became attached at the hip, and now we're both back in the motherland for another go.  Jackie has a Fulbright grant to conduct research in Petersburg and was in Moscow from Friday-Saturday for a conference.  Our time together was super limited, but we were still able to meet up (after she finished her meetings and I did some sightseeing with Martin), go out to dinner with some other Fulbright-ers, walk around the New and Old Arbats, grab some things from my apartment, and have a sleepover in her fancy hotel room (her roommie left early so I had my own bed.  Score). 

After enjoying the hotel's delicious brunch, I scuttled off to work and Jackie flew back to Piter. She comes back in January, which we're already excited about. Then, instead of joining friends for some after-work poker on Saturday, I came home and watched a movie before passing out from sheer exhaustion.  So responsible.  This was mostly because I knew that the next morning (today. Sunday. In case you're confused) I had to wake up early and go to an award ceremony for some of our EF kids (instead of sleeping in. So unfortunate), where my only function was reading a list of quiz-show questions and handing out prizes.  I would've been much more bitter about this, but afterward we were fed nice hors d'oeuvres and cake so I suppose it's alright.  Also, fun fact, the ceremony was in the same hotel Jackie and I were at so I knew the way :)

When the ceremony was over, I looked around some of the stores on the way to the metro (and possibly found a really good shoe place. Mental note) and then came home.  But it was finally not raining out (it's been an unusually rainy fall) so I decided to do some good old neighborhood exploring.  Which leads me to my next random tangent: today was a pretty Russian day.  I found the normal-people-priced shopping center in our area (after getting a little lost.  Sort of on purpose, sort of not) and looked around at what was there, including a great supermarket where they had some things that we used to eat in Piter that I've been desperately searching for and had almost given up on until BOOM, there they were.  One was this sweet, creamy, cottage cheese-y thing that I can't really describe but really love, and the other was a specific kind of dried fruit.  The girl behind the counter demanded I give her a smaller bill (Russians really hate making change), but I needed change for the rent and held my ground (which has a mixed success rate but luckily worked out this time).  Then I bought some socks from a random stall (these are very common here) where the salesman, upon hearing my accent, tried to learn everything about me and become my best friend.  Too tired to deal with this, I walked away and into a sweater store, where the lady asked me a bunch of questions (damn you, accent!), then guessed my age spot on, then told me I should get a boyfriend like ASAP.  If you're wondering why, it's because in Russia you should be married or almost married by the ripe old age of 22.  I'm just glad she didn't try to set me up with a son or grandson or some relative of hers.  So with my cheese and fruit and socks and nail polish remover (finally) I headed back home and passed some stalls that spontaneously popped up to sell fresh fish.  I'd be much more excited about this if it didn't stink so much, but such is life: random fish stalls, cat calls, and a big bag of chocolate-y cottage cheese.  

I have work again tomorrow, so I'll leave you for now and talk to you soon! Take care, everyone.

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