Monday, 8 April 2013

String Theory

I'm sitting in a café downstairs from head office inspecting the passport that has just been returned to me and the new visa it contains that tells me that I have to leave Russia on the 3rd of July.

Originally that had been the plan; go to Moscow, see some cools stuff, pick up a bit of the language and get some teaching experience. I figured 2 years with a well-renowned (albeit soulless) language school on my C.V. would be enough to get me onto the masters course I wanted, or back to Central America, teaching there. But now I don't want to leave, and though I will be over the border by the 3rd, I am already well on the way with plotting my return.

I suppose the fact that I even had a plan in the first place should have aroused suspicions. Thinking any more than 12 months ahead in anything other than abstract terms seems to me to be an Olympian feat of mental gymnastics. My brain just does not bend that way.

The new plan is still technically a plan, though it's far from fixed and may not entirely work out. But I have options and so I'm comfortable with that. The one thing that is certain is that whatever I do I want to be doing it in Moscow, a move that brings with it a different set of apprehensions.

When I was a child I used to have a recurring dream that everything I touched became attached to me by a piece of thread. I would try to cut the threads with a knife or a pair of scissors, but then I just be came attached to them too, and running only made the threads longer and thicker. Eventually I would get so tangled up I couldn't move at all.

Sometimes I feel like the threads are still there, connecting me to all the people and places that I've come into contact with. Some of them are tenuous, spidery things and other's are thick knotted ropes. they are not as indestructible as those in my dreams but they still pull at me from time to time.

My worry is that the longer I stay in one place the more threads there are tying me there, and the stronger they become. Before, it was easy; the stronger threads anchored me home, the centre point from which I was free to wander off an explore without feeling lost. But what happens if I end up tethered between two homes? Will I be stuck in a tug of war between The UK and Russia? Does it restrict my movement in other directions?

I have said in the past that I felt if I didn't leave Moscow soon I may never leave. I'm not completely sure how I feel about that, but I know that at the moment this is where I want to be, so I guess we'll see.

Things I've learnt recently:

  • What perfective and imperfective verbs are.
  • That hitting each other with branches in a sweaty wooden box is a perfectly delightful way to spend an afternoon with friends. And a good way to banish a hangover.
  • Spring is apparently taking a gap year.
  • Trying to discuss politics with a 15 year old is nothing short of masochistic.
  • My boyfriend makes better cookies than I do.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Things I learned in 2012

  • To read the label on the washing powder more carefully. Автомат = clean clothes, everything else = foam party.
  • That being buried in the snow by your friends will make you ill but is totally worth it.
  • That sometimes people die too young, without any warning, and next time it could be you. So stop fannying about and make the most of life.
  • That real estate agents are the same the world over.
  • That seasonal affective Disorder is a thing, and it makes me a sad bunny.
  • That cleaning is more fun after a few vodkas.
  • That I don't hate kids as much as I used to. But I still don't want any of my own.
  • How to stop arterial bleeding with my knees (in theory at least).
  • That I'm a clumsy drunk who should not be allowed to head-bang or dance on tables.
  • That I sometimes put too much trust in the wrong people. Some ex-pats come to Moscow to make a fresh start, and some bring their demons with them. Friendship is a two way street, and finding out that someone is not only on a totally different street, but that their street isn't even on planet earth is not cool. I will choose who I confide in much more carefully this year.
  • How to turn a pumpkin into a pie.
  • That I like living on my own, and that Russian landladies are evil witches.
  • To walk away from situations/relationships that make me feel like I'm compromising my values. People change; sometimes they change their punk t shirts for high heels and become the kind of woman they spent the previous year pitying.
  • That I am good at my job (even if I do slack off a bit sometimes) and some people are beginning to recognise that and have faith in me to do more.
  • That I am a feminist, and unfortunately a lot of people have no idea what that actually means.
  • That putting your passport under your pillow on a train 'to keep it safe' only works if you remember that you put it there.
  • That I have pretty eyelashes.
  • That falling for guys who are arseholes/afraid of women/don't tell you they're married/already have 2 girlfriends/hate your friends is probably a waste of time.
  • That I can write good. Sometimes people even read stuff wot I put on the internets.
  • That I want to stay in Russia.
Happy New Year my lovelies! x