Do svidanya Russia!

The movers came and we are moving back to the States soon. We leave tomorrow for one last crazy trip to Uzbekistan and will be back in NY on January 9th. The past two years have gone by so quickly.

At good-bye parties and lunches with friends, we reflected on our Moscow experiences and said what will we miss and what will we not miss about living here when we leave. I thought I would share with you a modified version of those discussions and tell you the things I will miss about living in Moscow and what I am most looking forward to when I return to the States.

Things I will miss about Moscow:

  • All the amazing friends I met here. There is something about being in a completely foreign culture with a group of strangers where you are forced to bond and rely on each other. The friends I have made here have taught me everything from the best kind of toilet paper to buy, what types of food to buy where, shortcuts on the Metro, and how to survive this city. More importantly, I could always count on them for when I was having a bad day, and for lots of laughs.
  • The flexibility and ability to travel. We have been fortunate to do so much travelling over the past two years. I will miss the ability to hop on a plane and be somewhere exotic in two hours.
  • The Metro – you never wait more than 3 minutes, even on a Sunday! There are never train closures, track work, or train traffic. Plus tickets are really cheap.
  • Patio season – there are a brief few months where the weather is perfect and the restaurants open patios so people can drink and eat outdoors. Moscow is a city of 20 million or so, which is huge. Russians refer to patio season as dacha season, during which they leave the city for their summer houses and the city empties out on weekends. The people left in the city chill out and enjoy being here.
  • All the crazy things I encounter on the streets on a daily basis from the woman selling bras and spoons on my way to the Metro, the nice stranger helping an elderly woman over a patch of ice, and even the distinctive smells of the city. The smells range from the good to the bad and the ugly – the smell of freshly baked bread, BO on the Metro, and alcohol on people’s breaths and emanating from their skin. Although all the smells aren’t always pleasant, they do remind me of Moscow.
  • Kachupuri – the Georgian cheesy bread! This is the only food item I will miss from Russia.
  • The rule that everyone takes off their shoes when entering your home. When people come over or you go to a friend’s house that is just what you do. It keeps your apartment much cleaner. I think I will bring this custom back with me.

Things I am excited for in the USA:

  • My friends and family and being in the same time zone or close to it, versus 10-12 hours away!
  • Unlimited texting, with everyone, but most of all my sisters!
  • A phone that is 2012, not 2008 – not sure what kind of phone I will get, but it will be a smart phone!
  • Restaurants that will deliver to your door in 20 minutes, the food will still be hot, and they won’t charge a crazy delivery fee.
  • Ethnic food – Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Deli (that’s Jewish ethnic, right?), even Mexican food.
  • Free water in restaurants
  • While we are on the topic of food – everything bagels that were made fresh that day and you can buy them still hot.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables year round
  • The ability to plan a meal in advance, go to the store and know you will be able to find everything.
  • My matching dishes and serving pieces. Now when I have company I will be able to serve everyone with matching utensils, plates, and serving pieces instead of a mish mash of what we have.
  • Target
  • The American concept of lines, although just to be clear, I don’t like lines. However, in Russia someone can go to the bathroom or take a smoke break and still expect to have their place. There are also long lines for everything and people are constantly cutting and pushing. I may have become a little too Russian and cut the lines sometimes too. It helps to be on the shorter side and if someone says anything to me I just look at them with a blank stare and say I don’t speak Russian.
  • Choices – in America we are so lucky to have choices of what brand of items to buy instead of buying the only item that is carried in the whole country.
  • An oven – I love to cook and can not believe I survived two years with only a toaster oven.

This may be my last blog post or my blog may take on a new form when we are back in the States. Thank you for following along on our adventures and experiences over the past two years. I have loved all of your comments on my blog and the comments you made to help me win the blog contest. Despite the challenges of living here, I think Michael and I will look back and think it was one of the most exiting and best times of our lives. We have made life long friendships, built our relationship and a had a very fun start to our marriage, and really took advantage of living in a new culture.

From Russia with Love,

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2 Responses to Do svidanya Russia!

  1. Harold and Gilda Bluestone says:

    Dear Heather,
    Thank you so much for all the e-mails you have been sending us from Russia.
    We have found them to be very informative and enjoyed reading them.
    Happy New Year to you and Michael and best wishes for your trip back to the US.
    Gilda and Harold Bluestone

  2. adina says:

    you forgot to mention how much you will miss the pukh!

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