Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Is It That Time Already?

With the middle of the week already upon us, it is bitter sweet to think that my time in Vladivostok is already coming to a close. I am beginning to feel nostalgic about even the smallest things, looking out my dorm room window and seeing the surrounding hills dusted with snow.

Today the high only reached about 0 F. You can step outside here and instantly begin to feel the snot in your nose freeze. My glasses are constantly fogging up as I breathe into my scarf, which quickly has a thin layer of ice on it. I keep laughing at myself knowing that I still have no idea what the future Siberian -58 F will feel like. With the coldest winter that Russia has seen in a while, I don't know if I could have planned taking the Trans-Siber at a better time.

But perhaps the most terrifying thing that I have come to fully realize is that I will not make it out of Russia before конец света (literally translated as the end of the light, which is also known as doomsday). I am some what allerted by the fact that some people are rushing to the store to stock up on food for the enevitable end, while I will soon be going to the store to get only a weeks worth of 'food' for a train trip. Will I even know that the lights have been turned out? 
Putin is apparently going to give a 'state of the motherland' address on Thursday (the day before the world ends). Perhaps he'll have some calming words for us all...
If not, however, I am just going to take this oppertunity now to let my family and friends know that I love and appreciate them. Moreover, I would like to also thank Russia for showing me a glimps of a very different world. I may curse at your icy sidewalks, unevenly built stairs, and outward opening doors, but I will surely miss your disorganized ways, your women drowning in fur, and your love for the Ghostbuster's theme song. 

I hope to never be one to make sweeping generalizations about Russia after only such a short time here, but I can say that Russia has taught me more than any other place I have ever visited. Perhaps it's something about the constant stress of not knowing what's happening, or the cold wind that rips through even the heavest coat, or maybe it's the countless nights spent trying to fall asleep on a weakly padded piece of wood. Whatever it is, I am sad to bid Russia farwell. 

With a Merry Chirstmas from my cabin on the train and a Happy New Year from Red Square

P.S. Sorry for all the spelling mistakes...while my Russian has slowly gotten better, I think my English is at an all time low.