Saturday, 16 April 2011


 Well I made it to Moscow and I finally have an apartment. The company was planning on having somewhere ready and waiting for me to view and hopefully move into as soon as I arrived, but this was not to be. On Wednesday they found somewhere, and Sergei from HR took me to view it after work. It was nice enough and the girl I would have been sharing with was nice. Unfortunately I was so exhausted and disorientated and I had no clue what anyone was saying, that when they asked me to say yes and sign the contract I freaked out, burst into tears and ran into the loo. when I calmed down we agreed to sleep on it. Needless to say the landlady decided she didn’t want to live with a hysterical foreigner who doesn’t speak the language.

This actually turned out to be a very lucky. On Thursday the agent found this place. It had just be advertised that day, I came to see it on the agreement that even if I didn’t want it I could stay the night, but it's perfect. My landlady/flatmate, Margarita is a German actress. She's been babushkaing (is that a word?) me a fair bit; I'm being force-fed tea and cake etc. She's going away from the end of next week until September so I have the place to myself all summer.

So, let me give you the guided tour...

Welcome to flat 13! It's in an old Stalinist block so the stairwells are a bit crusty, but from the outside it's pretty.

And so is the inside.

My room! Bless it.

My bed. Yes I know it looks like a sofa, it is, but it's also a bed. This is pretty standard practice in Russia. It does pull out to a double but I'm lazy and it's plenty big enough as is for now.

The living room/Margarita’s room. It has a piano and a Christmas tree, what more do I need? At the back is the balcony, it's all boxed in to make a bit of a conservatory thingy, but I haven’t ventured out there yet. She's going to leave this room open when she leaves so I can use it.

And Finally, the kitchen. I'm quite excited about the oven, I m
might have to bake something soon.

The best thing about this place though is the location. It's in Zamoskvoreche, just south of the centre, about 20mins walk from Red Square and only 20mins by metro to work. I am told I am a very jammy cow, and I'm thinking I might have to ply my colleagues with more Cadburys chocolate to stop them hating me for it. Apparently sometimes running away in tears is a good thing, who knew?

Work wise everything is good, my first full teaching week starts on Monday, though my schedule is still a little empty at the moment. I have a TOEFL exam group, so desperately trying to get to grips with it so I can stay ahead of them. Other than that I'm enjoying it and looking forward to having more classes.

Things I've learnt this week:
  • 9 year olds can turn any game into a fight.
  • The central heating is regulated by the government, they decide when it is switched off for the summer (which is not yet)
  • I can actually have a passable conversation in a mixture of French, German, English and Russian.
  • Muscovites are all professional hat wearers - were talking +100 at least.
  • being on a suburban train in rush hour is what sardines feel like.
Hugs and kisses and friendly pats on the shoulder.


  1. Nice place! Sounds like you're settling in well, I'm surprised about the regulated central heating thing but I guess it makes sense, you can always sell off that surplus natural gas supply to us pesky westerners right?

    you'll get used to the whole rush hour train thing, eventually you'll carve out your own little commuting strategies and get annoyed at all the tourists getting in your way

  2. Oh this is on a whole other level, i could lift off the floor and not go anywhere. we have a different idea of personal space in the UK. don't have to do it again though.

    I'm guessing the heating thing is a bit of a leftover from soviet times.

    Nice to hear from you, hows London?