Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wow, I just witnessed the most amazing typical Russianness in the entire world! I was shopping at the grocery store and was third in the checkout line. Typical busy night with all the lines full and me with only 2 items. The man in front of me had put all of his items on the checkout counter while waiting for the woman in front of him to pay. The cashier accidentally took two of his items and rang them out with the woman's items. Now, instead of just deleting the two accidental items and making this a completely simple and carefree encounter, she starts arguing with the man, seemingly to yell at him about why in the sensical universe he would ever put his items down for her to mistakenly pick up and scan. Then, she starts yelling at the woman to just pay for said mistaken items, which, of course, leads the woman to start yelling at the cashier as to why she is being so difficult and retarded. The cashier then takes money from the man to pay for the two items. But the woman is not having any of it and just looks completely annoyed and pissed off and keeps arguing with the cashier. Finally, the woman just walks off leaving her bad of groceries at the counter!! Hahahahaahahah. Of course, I had to stand there for the whole ordeal with only 2 items. Then, of course, instead of just cancelling the whole transaction, the cashier has to handwrite all the items down and get her manager to delete the former transactions items. Wow. Это России!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Moscow, so far

Moscow, yeah, the place of dreams for awhile now. Studying Russian for 2 years, trying to figure out the culture before I come here; it all seems for naught. There is no magic here for me. After getting through some bad culture shock and establishing a fairly stable routine here, I find that I am getting the same dolrums that I had in Ohio. I have not escaped my ennui, only broadened it's range to now include Moscow freaking Russia. So, it seems that I have to keep running to other places to find somewhere that interests me. It almost seems like a waste. However, this is pretty far from the truth because I had to remove myself from that poisonous environment in order to get a clear perspective on what I want. If I had stayed in America, I would have only succeeded in putting myself more into debt and would have bought more gadgets that I have no real need for. Living here has at least helped me to realize that I was not living in any kind of way that was healthy. My way of thinking was tainted. I finally have the time to "relax" and find some perspective on my life, rather than running around like a crazy person working and studying. Now that I can finally live in the now, instead of only looking forward to the "glorious" future I have awaiting me, I can get a grip on what I truly value instead of things that I merely desire. Sigh, but where to go from now....

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Employer horror story

So, I just read a horror story about my future employers. It is from someone who had an extremely horrible experience working there. I am really scared, nervous and rethinking my decision to work overseas. My experience has been pretty shaky up till now, and this just makes me want to not go at all. I do not even have words to express how freaked out I am right now.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Packing

I started packing my clothes up. In my luggage. And I am having a very strong reaction to...this. My aunt offered to run a garage sale by herself while I am at work on Thursday, and I got really defensive. I mean, who wants to sell their stuff, the stuff that they have kept around for years and years. The stuff that has been catalogued in the back of my mind. The stuff that has been saved a special place for "later". Seeing the tiny space that I have been restricted to finagling my life into has made me want to crawl into a warm American apple pie and play baseball while setting off fireworks. Well, really, I just want someone to hold my hand for me. Someone else to tell me what should go into my luggage and what I can leave behind. Someone else to take the responsibility and the feelings of getting rid of my beloved objects. Someone else to take all the discomfort and scariness of moving to Russia until the homesickness and disorientation have been trudged through.

Though, thinking about it now, imagining waking up tomorrow in the middle of my new Russian life would be a horror. Imagine it-I would wake up in a strange bed, in a strange room, with strange sounds only to continue along my surreal day fumbling and dumbstruck. No, we need this slow compression of days in order to truly feel the rush of change and to overcome it. Otherwise, healing decompression would be replaced by the sharp jab of discontinuity. So, bring it on time, you cold, unyielding bastard!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Farewells

When I started this program, the only thing I had in mind was to get out of my dead-end job at Borders that I had been working at for about 7 years then and to get the hell out of Ohio, which is an implication of dead-endness in itself.

Tonight was the worst drive home from Kent that I have had to do. I cried the whole time home, not just because I had to say goodbye to Kellie, but for all the people that I have had to say goodbye to for the last two years. I never thought that I would be touched by so many people that breezed through my life, but I start to remember every person who has come into my life and made an impression, no matter how small. This makes me realize that one of the smallest, yet most powerful ways that you can touch a person in their lifetime is to be kind to them, even in the tiniest way: a smile, sharing culture, staying with that person no matter how bad they hurt you or how long it has been since you've seen them. There are so many ways that people have touched me in these last two years. Now that I am leaving, I am infinitely sad to have had to say goodbye to my friends.

I thought of making a list of everyone, but it would be too long. So, I think that you all know who you are: Kent friends, Borders friends, and my relatives. I miss those of you who have gone and already miss those of you who I will have to leave behind.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Limbo

Well, so far I am waiting to receive my letter of invitation so that I can finally apply for my visa. It will certainly be a rush job, considering that I am supposed to leave on Sept. 9th. I have already had to change my flight date from Sept. 5th so I would have more time for my visa. Sigh, this has been one really strange summer. Now that it is almost time for me to leave, I'm finding my days and nights to be full of angst, waiting, stress, headaches, anticipation of loss. Sometimes I think about those first steps that I will have to take alone once I get in the airport, and almost cry. Even though I need to leave this catharsis ridden state, doing so also means leaving behind a lot of people that I've come to love and will miss greatly.

Trying to work on packing my stuff up-seeing what I need to get rid of and what I want to take. Two suitcases does not seem like much of anything to be taking to be starting a life in another country. :(

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chinese New Year

video
I went to a celebration in Kent on Chinese New Year. They had quite a lot of fun activities and the food was really great. I got to try ma po tofu, which was super yummy. Here is a video of some hip hop dancing!

Mahjong Party 3/12/10


Last night I had such a great time with my Taiwanese friends. I went over their apartment and we had dinner, played mahjong and just had a great time. Actually, my Japanese friend was there too and I got to learn more about Japanese culture, like her education experiences and that she worked at a mahjong store. She knew a lot of the Chinese words for the tiles and moves in the game. I was so jealous! I wish that I lived closer to Kent so I could hang out with them more often! Also, I really need more practice at mahjong so I don't keep losing. Here is a link to a definition of mahjong on Wikipedia for those who don't know what it is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahjong