Sunday, March 2, 2014

An overdue synopsis

I have no excuses for my prolonged absence, so I'll just jump into a brief update since...what, October?
Thanksgiving was spent the same as last year's - diner dinner on the day of in a large group, followed by a Saturday potluck with a slightly smaller group.  Christmas was spent working, and New Year was spent in the north of England with friends.

Volgograd got bombed, but Moscow is literally closer to Poland than to Volgograd, so we were just fine here.  The Sochi Olympics have come and gone, wrapping up in a few weeks with the end of the Paralympic Games.  My friend Nic came for a visit after volunteering on the alpine track, and we watched the closing ceremony with a nice Williams representation.  Speaking of the Olympics, I'd like to note that they were incredibly well executed, especially taking into consideration that everything had to be built from scratch, unlike several previous sites.  Was it perfect? No.  Was it remarkable, to say the least? A resounding yes.

And now for the biggest news item: the current situation in Ukraine.  I think this is a nice summary of what's been happening since late December (for those of you who don't feel like reading in depth articles from legitimate news sources).  Things have carried on as usual here in Moscow, though people are starting to discuss it more and more.  This is also a nice piece on what's currently happening.  Interestingly enough, the only people I really hear talking about it at all are expats...I supposed it makes sense in some ways, since the ruble's rapid decline is making our money worth a lot less and our salaries suddenly much lower in real terms (since we'll need to exchange those rubles for dollars/pounds/etc at some point, and the exchange rate is increasingly against our favor).  Everyone is (obviously) also really hoping war doesn't suddenly break out, but for your peace of mind I will say that I'm registered with the embassy, I have the embassy's number saved in my phone, and my flatmate and I have an emergency plan just in case.  

In less interesting and less exciting news, the state of CT is being a real pain as they simultaneously inform me of my upcoming license expiration and summon me for jury duty...sorry, I won't be able to attend.  I'm busy being an expat in Russia, which had me ice skating, eating blini, and burning effigies for Maslenitsa today.

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