Sunday, June 12, 2011

Brief sojourn in Moscow

Guess where I'm writing this from?


Nope, I didn't escape from the compound by scaling the concrete walls and hitching a ride back to the city. I'm here on a fully-sanctioned, much-deserved (in my opinion!) four day break between camp sessions. I taught for the past seven days instead of taking my one day off, so this way I could get four days in a row free. Because Language Link moved my suitcase into a new flat in Moscow (Timiryazevskaya metro) after I left Mytishi, that's where I am now. I have to say, this flat is definitely not as nice as my one back in Mytishi was. It's not even as nice as my room at camp is! Its a small, cramped flat with a stained mattress on the floor, a dim lightbulb over a desk and rickety stool (on which I am currently perched) and a tiny kitchen and toilet, as well as another bedroom that I haven't seen yet.

I'm sharing the flat with James, a British guy who was an intern in the first intership training program back in August. Then he became deathly ill, spent a nightmarish couple of weeks in a Russian hospital, survived, then repeated the internship with me in September. I never really knew him well, but he seems nice enough. Of course, we got off to an awkward start tonight...

The Language Link driver picked Evan and I up at camp at nine o'clock pm. Evan was dropped off first, around 11, then I got to my new flat at 11:30. As I was turning my key in the lock, the door swung open and James was revealed, standing there in extremely tiny briefs. From the look on his face and the apparel he was wearing, he had clearly not gotten my message that I would be arriving tonight.

His British charm and ineffable politeness managed to rise to the occasion. "Katie!" he greeted me. "Er, do come in..."

It was REALLY awkward because his girlfriend was over, and she was set up in what was to be my bedroom, so she moved into his room but didn't look too pleased about it. All three of us were awkward, over-apologizing, and embarassed. I quickly asked for directions to the nearest produkti (I was starving) and hightailed it out of the flat to give them some time to move her things and get used to the fact that apparently their cosy two-some was now going to involve a flatmate.

So now I'm here, sitting in my new flat (for the next four days) in Moscow, at two am, and...I'm ACTUALLY MISSING CAMP. Yes. I just wrote that. This flat is just so small and dirty and depressing, and at least camp is bright and airy and surrounded by nature. Well, I guess that's how it goes, right? You don't know what you've got till its gone. At least now I'll return to camp fully recharged and more appreciative!

In the meantime, it will be nice to catch up with friends here (its my friend Melissa's birthday dinner tomorrow at Starlite!), do some more sightseeing, and try to get a little more souvenir shopping for people back in Canada done.

It's been a long day (I've been up since six!) so I'm off to try and catch some sleep on that mattress!


  1. Oh Katie, why do you tell your mother these things?

  2. Update: I spread out my towel on the mattress last night and slept on that.Its hot enough in here that I didn't need any blankets, and I used my sweatshirt as a pillow. Today I'm going to go out and buy a sheet and a pillow somewhere...even if I only use it for a few nights, I think it will be well worth the 600 or so roubles.

  3. Thank you, now my skin can stop crawling.