There are days…
There are days when I get frustrated with this country in which I now reside. More like moments, really. Tonight as I stood waiting for a bus that never showed up, I was really wishing (for the umpteenth time) that I could rely on the bus schedule here. If a bus is not late, then it’s way early and sometimes it just decides to not show up at all. If I could rely on the printed bus schedules, it would make my life so much easier! The other day I walked out to catch the bus to meet up with a friend for lunch. I left myself 8 minutes to get to the bus stop before the scheduled bus, and the bus stop is basically just across the street. But since you never know if it will come early or not, you sometimes arrive early just in case (and then, of course, the bus will be really late that time, go figure.) Well, this time, I noticed the bus had already arrived at the stop and was getting ready to pull out! He was a whole 7 minutes early by the time I got there/he left without me. I ran but was too far away for him to see me and stop. (If they see you running to catch the bus, they will generally stop. Considering he was so early, it would have been nice if he’d decided to just sit there a minute). So then I had to stand out in the cold and wind and wait for who knew how long until another bus came. I texted my friend to tell her I might be late. And then about 10 minutes later a different, unscheduled, bus stopped by and I caught my ride to the metro. (I was so thankful that he came – I have spent 30 minutes before waiting for another bus, many times) I would say that more often than not I am waiting for buses that have left early, or who are very late. Considering this is Russia, I should NOT be surprised, I know. But for some reason it just bugs me. Because my life REVOLVES around perfectly timed schedules and I need to be able to know I can get the buses I need when I need them. Or at least when they say they will come – they are never just perfectly when I need them, but at least I can try to plan around them if they are on schedule.
I tell everyone that I love being here. And I do. But I also completely understand the people who arrive here and hate it too. Because if you focus on all the negatives (and trust me, there are a lot) you will just be miserable and go crazy. I choose each day to focus on all the positive things that I can find. So, while I do love being here, there are still times when it drives me absolutely crazy and frustrates me. Do I like the fact that my super expensive apartment would be a cheap $700.00 apartment if you plopped it in a Southern California ghetto? (And our rent is more than double that, for a TINY apartment) Or the fact that the entrance and stairwell to my apartment consistently smell like cat urine? [gag] Or the fact that the roads here become completely slushy and muddy when the weather “warms up” above 30 degrees F and all my pant legs and boots get all muddy? Or that when the temperature drops overnight all the wet sidewalks turn into sheets of sheer ice that are almost impossible to walk on? Or that you just never know what you will find when you get on the metro, but at least one thing is guaranteed and that is that you will lose all your personal space and you will be lucky if you aren’t squashed next to a smelly old man as you try to keep your balance on the swaying, jerking metro. Do I like the fact that I have to be careful when grocery shopping to not buy more than I can
carry lug all the way home? Or the fact that those groceries are often outrageously priced? And in a different language? Do I like the fact that EVERYONE and their mom stares at you wherever you go/whatever you do? Do I like the fact that everyone here picks their nose and then wipes it somewhere or drops it on the floor or metro seat? [gag] Or that everyone pushes and shoves to get on/off the metro/bus/trolleybus, etc? Or that they will cut in front of you just about anyplace you have to stand in line?
There are SO many things here (that is an incomplete list but I got tired of listing it all) that would drive me absolutely crazy if I focused on them. It is NOT easy living here. I have gotten “used” to it, for the most part, because I have to. There is no other choice. But there are sure days when I miss “normal” America.
And I can’t wait to be home in 5 days! Even though I DO love it here, despite all the negatives, I know it will be hard to say goodbye to everyone in CA again and head back here in the middle of January. I hate goodbyes and I remember how hard it was last time to leave CA and come back to Russia again. =( And this time I know I won’t want to say goodbye to my new nephew. He’s such a cutie and it makes me sad to think about how much of his life I will miss out on being so far away. That’s life, I know, but that part of life and having adventures at the same time is hard.
ANYways…counting down the days till I head home. I am so excited and thankful to be going! I am so ready for a break. This year HAS been amazing. I am floored whenever I look back and see all that took place. I hope 2014 is just as spectacular and I look forward to more adventures. God has blessed me so much and I wish there was some way to adequately give Him all the glory for all He has done this year.