Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Devushka Diaries" joins the Mile High Club

Back in March, my friend and fellow teacher here in Mytishi, Iain, flew to Finland for the long weekend. He was flipping through Aeroflot's in-flight magazine when he saw a familiar face - my own!

Aeroflot published some excerpts from expats' blogs about life in Russia. Which is cool, I guess, although I had no idea and it might have been nice if they had at least told me.

But I don't really care - I know I put this out here on the Internet, and that means ANYONE could be reading this. What I do care about is their choice of excerpts they used!

They picked the absolute worst sections of my blog to use - two different posts where I'm either complaining about Russia or making fun of it. And yeah, sure, I AM guilty of the occasional snarky post or exasperated rant (I think that is just part and parcel of being an expat in a foreign country), but I think overall my posts are positive and happy...right? Or do I come across as this self-righteous, entitled foreigner who makes fun of scrunchees and bemoans the lack of hot water a little TOO much?

The thing is, I love Russia and I have loved my experience living here so far. Russia is not a perfect country (there's no such thing!) and sometimes I do compare Russia negatively to the country I grew up in, Canada.

A year ago I loved Russia blindly - the Russia of Tolstoy, the Russia of romantic snowy troika rides, the Russia of hot hockey players if I'm being completely honest! :) But now I love Russia because I feel like I am a little closer to understanding her, a little closer to the REAL Russia if you will. The Russia where people may not smile at you in the streets, but where they welcome you into their homes and their hearts with a plate of food and a bottle of vodka. The Russia where you can literally buy a cabbage on every street corner. The Russia where your 15 year old students have a favourite literary critic AND a favourite rapper. The Russia where centuries of history can be found side-by-side with modern skyscrapers. The Russia where both the driver of the Bentley and the driver of the Lada will honk their horn, swerve wildly through traffic, and roar over a puddle of mud and water, soaking passersby without a second thought (proving my theory that it doesn't matter if you're rich or not, anyone can be an a**hole!). The Russia where you can visit Red Square many, many times...and it never gets old. It never ceases to completely amaze you, to stop you in your tracks and make you go, "Wow."

This is my Russia, and I love it.

(So if you're reading this, oh unknown Aeroflot employee who gets the thankless task of trolling the internet for expat blogs, consider THIS post for your next in-flight magazine. Not the ones where I'm complaining about scrunchees and sequins!)

Note "hot Russian hockey player" cut-out
in background of teacher's room!

1 comment:

  1. Hi K,

    Congrats on getting published on Aeroflot's inflight magazine! I saw a similar article with blog snippits when I flew to SPB this summer.

    If you don't mind I wanted to ask you some questions about your experience teaching English in Russia. I didn't see a form where I could contact you directly. If you are open, would you mind contacting me at my contact form? Thanks!