Above: The Road to Kharkhorin
Taken while traveling in Mongolia. October 2010.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Three weeks later… still no significant signs of “adaptatsiya”…

Thus far there hasn’t been much integration, and understandably so: I’ve spent only four of the last twenty-one nights at my host-mother’s, and basically lived as a tourist from my arrival in Moscow until last Sunday. Once my good friend Fritz arrived, we started couchsurfing together, and what was supposed to be only a few days of visiting turned into two weeks. I guess the fact that he was on vacation made me feel like I was as well. But it was just a fake-ation. Somehow I managed to balance sightseeing, going to museums and bars, attending classes, rehearsals, mainstreams, and doing other student-y things for a little over a fortnight! It has, however, proven to be quite the slow start in terms of “full-immersion” or “adaptation” or any of the other phrases mercilessly thrown at students overseas.

In the past two weeks, we met and met-up with a lot of people, made new friends, including Fritz’s знакомые from Turkmenistan:

Plov. Ogurtsi. Various salads.

Mom they tricked me into drinking vodka.

This strange, elongated first part of my stay in this inebriated mammoth of a city is far from over. I still don’t have a set schedule (the search is still on for a couple of “mainstream” classes with Russian students at RSUH), but I found out today that I’ll be playing in the Gnessin State Musical College’s concert band! Its rehearsals have narrowed down my choices for classes a good bit, so I’ll have a set schedule soon enough.

In other news, our coordinator Will bought our tickets to Vladivostok not too long ago. We leave in two and a half weeks.

For this period of uncertainty to end, I think I just have to figure out what I’m expecting from these next 4 months. I figure everything was great in Irkutsk, so everything should be great in Moscow, right? I’m not used to actually living in such a huge city (cities I’ve lived in include: Salinas, Monterey, Clermont-Ferrand, Middlebury, and finally Irkutsk, whose 600 thousand inhabitants don’t really compare to Moscow’s 10 million…), and I haven’t quite come to the realization that I need to get used to it. Every time I think about it, I’m overwhelmed by the city’s enormity and its fast-pace lifestyle, and I just get the feeling I won’t have the time to do anything. I guess I’m still used to the Irkutsk way of life.

No comments:

Post a Comment