The countdown to my return to Russia continues! Today I had some interesting and varied responses from different people about my impending trip abroad. I ran errands around town with my mom and she’s quite known everywhere so she introduced me as her daughter and mentioned what I’ve been doing and where I’ll be going in a few weeks. A teller at the bank was a bit surprised and didn’t know quite how to react. It seems that people in the town aren’t really sure what it means that I’m going there and don’t seem to understand why I’m going. They just nod, smile, and wish me well.
Then we went shopping a department store. When asked if I wanted to open a store credit card, I declined. The usual line of questioning followed and I informed the salesman that I won’t be in the country. My mom stepped in to brag that I live abroad, in Russia. The salesman seemed a bit shocked and immediately looked at me differently. He said he wasn’t that sophisticated and hadn’t been to all those fancy places like Paris and London. So, to some, living and travelling abroad is like a status symbol.
Finally on our way home we ran into the Mayor. I’d met him once before, before I went abroad the first time. He asked me about my previous trip and seemed genuinely excited for me and wished me well. As an educated person and fellow international traveler, of all the people I talked to today, he seemed to understand the most what it meant that I was going there and having an international experience.