Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Russia Upddate - Part 3
Singing in the Rain – Russia Update, Part 3
Hello from Rainy Russia and Miserable Moscow. Ok it’s not so miserable here. It seems that since summer has hit Moscow people here smile a bit more and are much more friendly, helpful and open. I guess when you’re use to the rain though, it’s easy. Man does it ever rain here. It started about three weeks ago. June was a sunny and hot month, I couldn’t wait for the end of school and it was quickly approaching. I wanted to explore the city with the kids, and explore the parks and tourist attractions when Ron had time off. The plan was going good, until the end of school got here. All of a sudden the skies got dark and grey, the wind grey with intensity, and the rain started. Not a lot, but enough to ruin any outdoor plans far from home.
Well I didn’t realize my last update came from February; back than I was just starting a new job at the Embassy, and that was pretty much on my list of exciting things. The temperatures sucked, but really in actuality and reality it really wasn’t that cold, I’m just a wuss and as many people say, I shouldn’t be Canadian; I hate the cold.
My job at the Embassy lasted a mere four months, in that time we took two vacations, and I was off for extended periods of time due to some bad luck which if you scroll back in my blogs you will easily find why. I ended up leaving my cushy position for a number of reasons, number one being my kids, with summer and no one around to be there with them, and a busy and stressful second year at the Anglo American School for the two of them (mostly Robbie), it was the best decision I could make for my boys.
Easter in Moscow was not much different than any other Easter back home. My mom sent a box of chocolate Easter eggs for us to hide, and egg colouring. Little did we know, that like so much Easter is also celebrated here in Russia a week after the North American Easter and is the second biggest holiday in this country. It is not celebrated as westerners do with fancy baskets, tons of chocolate and bunnies, and candy, but instead fancy breads are made, dark chocolate eggs handed out, and traditional Russian eggs decorated. We have yet to decorate with our Russian Easter egg kit, but this will be a summer task for something to do on a typical rainy day.
Both the boys were excited for school to be finished, although Anthony was a little less excited. How did they do? Anthony, still young according to the school’s standards at the beginning of the year and put in a class with kids who are almost a year ahead of him lagged behind his peers and will be staying back in Kindergarten next year to perfect his writing and reading skills. Robbie barely finished middle school but graduated with the rest of his grade 8 classes. He will move on to high school in August.
It’s now summer and the first batch of Canadians have moved out, and a new group is ready to move where they left off in the coming weeks. We’re all looking forward to seeing and meeting the new faces. Our group here is so small and we are all so diverse that it’s sometimes hard to find a connector that fits us all together besides being posted to the same Embassy. For those that have been on an overseas tour to KAF, Bosnia, whatever, think of it as a six month tour extended for a three year period. You know how at the end of your tour or even before your leave you can’t wait to go home and see someone’s face besides the person that sits next to you or houses with you etc...That’s what it gets like here sometimes. We’re in the small community; we live on the same street, pretty much all of us one next to each other, we work with each other, and we all go to the same parties; the same faces day in and day out.
Summer is suppose to be the time when we explore the city that we are living in for the next three years (hey make that two more years only; I can’t believe how fast it’s gone already). We’ve already gone to Victory Park, a park built by the Russian’s to celebrate their victory over the Nazi’s in WWII. We’ve also learnt that Monday’s is not a good day to do anything in Moscow; Monday’s in Moscow are virtually a holiday, no museums are open, hence why we need to make another trip to Victory Park. It took us three hours to go through the outside of the park and the outdoor Naval museum, but there are two other military museums which we need to check out as well.
Some other attractions we plan on checking out include the Sculpture Gardens, Gorky Park, the zoo, a couple of circuses, The dolphinarium, the Planatarium, The Russian National Dance Show, and a ballet ( I know it sounds so cliché, but when in Russia, it’s a must). I’m sure as our time goes on we will find other things to do, as well there are tons of museums that need to be seen, and now that I’m writing onwards here, there is so much more I can think of.
We had contemplated going away at the end of the summer on a vacation somewhere warm, however upon a feeling it was decided that a trip home would be in order this year. A couple weeks after that decision was made I learned that my grandma has been ill and in hospital. The feeling is that things do not look good, and going home at least one last time is best for us right now. I will leave just over two weeks before school starts, spend some time with my family, than Ron will join us a week later so we can spend time with his family, do some shopping, and take the boys to discover what our home, what Ron and I grew up with is all about, including a trip to Canada’s Wonderland for Robbie’s first “real” rollercoaster ride and the Science Centre.
So once again that is all. In general, our time, well my time in some ways, in dealing with the general population is getting easier. My Russian, choo choo by choo choo (little by little) is becoming good enough to get me by day by day, and sometimes surprisingly enough, sometimes more.