Thursday, October 29, 2009
One Year Later - Russia Update
Ok well here’s a short update for those of you back home who are always wondering what is going on with us. It’s quick and to the point. I haven’t felt much like writing lately; hence why my overseas journal hasn’t been posted in well over a few months, not much work has gone into it. I had thought about seeing if I could get it published over the summer in a magazine, piece by piece, but I have no desire right now to right up a proposal. HELP anyone. So here’s our Russian update, not well thought out, not well written out, but none the less done.
It has officially been one year since our posting to Moscow and I think it’s safe to say that we’re starting, yes just starting to settle in nicely.
We know enough of the language to get by. The basics that allow us to get what we want from the grocery store, from a restaurant or at the hairdresser. We can enjoy recreational activities with ease outside the home. This summer we had the pleasure of visiting Victory Park, Gorky Park, and the Sculpture Park, a small amusement park of sorts with rides, games, and walking trails, and the Zoo. Ron and I also got some time alone to see the Russian National Dance show and Elton John in concert. Next on our list is Riverdance.
Russia was never a spot I would have thought to come to for a vacation. After being here the last year though, I can say that if you like architecture, old European charm and culture, Russia has it all and not seeing it means you’re missing out.
We have eaten at a few restaurants in Moscow, a couple different ethnic restaurants which were tasty and priced well, our all time go to’s like Pizza Hut (well priced enough), Hard Rock Cafe (overpriced), and TGI Fridays (overpriced and wow does the service suck big time). We also have found our favourite restaurant, Chinese, super good, non greasy, but SUPER and I mean SUPER expensive. This is a once a year, maybe twice a year treat, and WITHOUT the kids.
Being here is all about knowing where to go, and what to buy. Some things are more expensive, others are cheaper. Some of the food is better than back home, some of it is not quite the same, and some of it is just worse. Between the good food here, Stockmen’s, PJ’s and good friends back home (thank you Shannon) I can get whatever I want or need within reason. There really isn’t much I can’t find or that we miss.
The people here well it’s hard to explain. When we first got here, I thought they were grumpy and mean; but the more Russian I learn and try to speak, and the more the sun shines, the nicer they become. We will see in a few weeks when winter hits if I still feel the same or not.
Being in Russia is like an extended overseas tour. You’re all excited when you get here to meet new people, excited when you’ve been here and new people come in, but then that excitement wears off and you just don’t want to be around them anymore. Thank goodness for vacations. We’ve taken three so far, Rome and Pompei, Egypt and Poland and Prague. In August we had planned to go on another vacation to Turkey, but we thought it best to go home. My grandma has not been doing well and the kids really missed Canada.
We had a great time visiting family, and taking the kids to all the places we visited when we were children. Our favourite places were Canada’s Wonderland and Marine Land. Anthony has in all his glory meeting new cousins for the first time and seeing old ones again. Robbie was just glad being able to understand people around him again, walk a few inches without mom calling him back, and going on his first real rollercoaster.
Coming back was actually easy though, and it’s kinda odd to say that we missed “home”. Yes Russia is now home for us. It’s where we live and where we are a family.
The kids this year are doing better in school. Robbie has brought home a couple lower than expected marks, his math though is doing remarkably well, and we have bribed him with a Mac Book for Christmas if he gets straight B’s on his next report card. Anthony’s teacher this year is nothing short of amazing, and I feel really good that she is the one that is around my son daily. Anthony himself is showing such an increase in his liking for school, for writing and for reading. He wants to be involved and is asking to do things like writing out words, or doing his school projects (yes even in Kindergarten they have projects to do, two so far this year), and is more confident in what he does. He is a little leader and always wants to help, no change there. Also no change is his lack of energy if that is even the right word. So far he is doing better this year, but he doesn’t like to raise his hand, and always needs to be encouraged for his work.
First break is quick approaching, ok, to be honest, it’s here. We leave in one day for Canary Islands. I’m pretty sure this is where I started off last year with our first trip. So I think this is a good place to end off for now. Update to follow.
We miss you all back home.