Today we had a workshop in the morning and then our company organized a boat ride down the Volga to celebrate its birthday. The workshop was quite interesting as we learned a lot of new material and I had a lot of fun. Then we took a bus to the metro and met up with some other teachers. We walked to the boat and got on board. Before soon we were on our way. Several people spoke some opening words (in both English and Russian!) and then there were food and drinks, music and even karaoke.
It was nice to see a lot of the other teachers who I hadn’t seen since our training. I also met a lot of new people and we shared all our teaching stories. Most people offered me great advice for some problematic classes and students that’d I’d been having as well. But most of all it was the mix of Russian and English and the coming together of the two cultures that was especially magical. This experience set against the backdrop of the city made for an incredible evening. I was just amazed at how beautiful the city was and I felt lucky to be a part of it and to be part of a company that is so multinational and multilingual. Not to mention words can’t describe how beautiful Moscow is at night and how exquisite some of the views are from the river.
At the end of the night we headed home and on the metro I thought to myself how lucky I am to live here and I was amazed at how comfortable I feel around Russian and seeing Russian signs and hearing Russian announcements. It’s almost as if it’s become second nature to me. And it all feels so comfortable and I feel safe and at home here. It’s such a strange sensation to have everything that was once new and daunting to suddenly sink in and slip away and become a part of you. The cultural adaptation process has definitely begun.