I’ve been spending some time with my grandparents before I leave again. Tonight they had dinner plans with some of their neighbors who are all educated, intelligent and successful people. One of them has even travelled to Russia on various occasions and speaks some Russian. It was an incredible evening, fully of stimulating and interesting conversation. I realized just how much I miss being in a circle of intellectuals and having meaningful talks on weighty subjects.
I was happily surprised at how many of them responded to me, my experience in Russia and my decision to return there for work. I was referred to as “educated” and a “citizen of the world.” One of the men, a successful doctor, even mentioned that he was jealous of me that I was young and had the opportunity to go abroad and have such a great experience in my future. I felt flattered because one of my goals is to be successful in my life and career and well-travelled like they have are and here they were telling me that it was I who they were envious of. It was also interesting to hear about their lives and all the interesting experiences they’ve had. We also discussed language and globalization and how much the world has changed, how it wouldn’t have been feasible for me to have a teaching job in Russia a decade or so ago. Such an interesting thought and a great evening all around.