Oh this pickle is really good.
Anyway, I’ve been living in Russia for a little bit more than two months now. It’s time to chart my progress and think about what I’d like to do in the next eight months I’ll be here. It’s both a lot of time, and, when I think about it, not a lot of time. I can accomplish very much, I think, before I finish my job at the school, but I also am very aware of the fact that my time is limited, that it’s a one time thing, and that there will be other things to do in my life once the year is over. (If graduating college didn’t impress upon me the fact that things come to an end, well…)
So here’s what I’ve done so far: I’ve finished two books in Russian, and reading is easier than it was, although it’s still hard! There are some books that I can read fairly well without a dictionary, although I hate not knowing what words mean. And some books of course are very hard. I can speak and understand a lot better already. I no longer feel so nervous and disoriented when I enter a conversation, and I can describe things a lot better than I could. My accent is better too! And with BBC podcasts I understand spoken language a lot better… but there is still a long way to go. And I have done some big things like conducting and concluding my room search, getting adjusted to work and getting to know a lot of people at the school (though as the only American there, everybody knows my name, and I can’t say I know them all back). I’ve also been to a lot of places, a lot of different neighborhoods, but I need to go see more. And I’m starting to make friends on my own in Moscow. I think my Russian has really improved and I’ve learned many interesting things about life here that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
But there’s a lot more to do. I want to read much more, and meet more people. I still haven’t really seen a play here (nor have I had any vodka… this is not as big a problem). There are tons of museums and things still to see, so much progress still to be made in Russian, so many words and expressions to learn and so much that I still want to find out. It’s time to redouble my efforts, but I think first I need a nap.
I will conclude with some photos!