Day 2

I woke up today and went to take a shower. But the water was cold! I don’t know if I need to turn the hot water on or if it’s out still for the summer. We dealt with this in St. Petersburg where there’s a short period in summer where no one has hot water. So perhaps this is still in effect, I also know there is some construction going on right in front of my flat. It looks like a pipe of some sort is being installed or repaired. In fact there is a huge ditch and you have to walk over a makeshift bridge to get to the door.

I also came across some things I wrote a month or so ago about how much I loved St. Petersburg. A part of me really misses it and almost wishes I had been assigned there. But during my interview I said I didn’t mind where I went, I just wanted to go to Russia. I didn’t want pickiness to get in the way and prevent me from getting a position. The whole reason I thought of all this is that I don’t feel as at home here as I did in St. Petersburg. But I know it will just take some time. It’s only been a day or so and I haven’t really spent any time in my city yet so I’m not worried about it, just a random observation.

I’ve also found that I’ve already lost some of the Russian I had in St. Petersburg. Being home in between trips certainly didn’t help and here I’m not in class five hours a day like I was over the summer. Already I sense that it might be a bit of a struggle getting enough practice speaking Russian as I’ll be working in English. But I am determined to make it happen!

Later I felt a bit stir crazy as my flat here isn’t very big compared to my house in America and there aren’t a lot of places to go, not much to do as far as change of scenery. So I headed out and walked around the town a bit. It’s really a beautiful town, lots of interesting things and I wish I’d brought my camera to get some photos.

Then when I came home I couldn’t get my door open. There are two locks and I usually only lock one because the second takes a smaller key and often gets jammed. I guess the landlady or someone from the school must have come while I was out because now they were both locked. After trying to open it for some time, the door next to mine opened and out came a guy. Turns out he is one of the other interns. He helped me open it and we spent the rest of the evening chatting. He’s from London and has never been to Russia before, doesn’t know any Russian, but has studied Arabic. Overall very interesting and seems like a really nice guy. I think it’s incredibly brave of him to come here without any knowledge of Russian as there aren’t many people who speak English. It will be nice to have another teacher living nearby.

Later in the evening Katya stopped by and brought a map of the city. She also wrote down some information about trains and told me the names of the stations and which trains I can take to and from Moscow. So I feel oriented and have a good grip on the transport system which is a good thing because it’s up to me to help the others get to Moscow tomorrow (another intern is arriving tomorrow). So, again, what a difference a day makes! Things are definitely looking up!

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