• Andrew Schwark

One Week Down

Updated: Mar 10

This week has been fast: transitioning into a new job, dentist visit, Russian language classes and taking care of paperwork until my hands bled. The bed I sleep in doesn't feel familiar and the wind rattles the window at night (add that to the list of house renovations). It also still feels like a proper winter here although it seems to be sunny more than cloudy, for which I am grateful. But I have started noticing a lot of little "Russian" things already.


First, I now drink tea pretty much nonstop. Come home and the teapot is boiling and ready to go in five. Four o'clock? Tea time. Also, five, six, seven... The kitchen is my de-facto meeting space while I wait patiently for the leaves to mull.


View from Our Apartment

Second, food shopping here isn't like in the States. There is the baker for bread. There is a pilmeni shop. There is a small supermarket, but you would never buy all the groceries there. It adds a little time to the whole shopping routine, but the upside is fresh baked bread any time and great meals. And all at a fraction of the cost - it's incredible how much less everyday food items cost here. Unless you buy avocados and then you'll need to empty your wallet.


Third, Russians have some great business ideas. Did you know you can have a hookah delivered to your home, coals and tobacco included, for 24 hours? And that at a very reasonable $18 USD. Also there are things called anti-cafes where they charge you by the hour, not by the things you buy. So coffee, tea, and cookies are unlimited while you relax, work, or host some event (which is common from what I hear). There is also a "мои документы," which translates to My Documents. Whatever sort of document you need to take care of can be done here. Car titles, residency issues, house things, and I don't even know what. Kinda nice they centralized all those things into one spot.

Although the people working there didn't seem to be the happiest. And Viktoriya was about ready to pull out her hair filling out the myriad forms we were given. So maybe not cool after all.


Life continues into the next week though and I expect I'll continue to fall asleep totally exhausted. Just hearing Russian all day is exhausting. And of course we want to adopt and are trying to renovate our apartment and about a million other things.

See you around guys.

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