Monday, October 13, 2014

Not European. Not Asian. Just Russian.

Walking down the streets of Moscow, you can't help but feel swallowed up in the concrete, steel, and bleak, Soviet style apartment buildings that seem to never end. Then, in a fleeting glimpse catches your eye of golden, onion domed churches rising above the grey. Upon closer examination, Moscow turns from a modern metropolis to a city bursting with hidden treasures. The juxtaposition of grey, lifeless skyscrapers and vibrant, bright Russian Orthodox temples contrasts the world of old Russia with the splendor of the Czars with modern Russia, creating an overwhelming sense of awe in any one who takes the time to let the beauty of this country sink in. Even the mundane task of taking the metro is marked with masterpieces of art and architecture. In the metro, you can find statues of the heroic men and women who fought in World War II. They remind you to take a deep breathe and reflect on those precious moments where the human spirit triumphed over evil. Just a quick moment though--because let's be honest, metros smell the worst. A native Russian explained it to me like this: "Russia is like silver. On the outside, it is not much to look at. However, on the inside? It is beautiful and rich." It just takes some effort on our part to look further into a country than what is portrayed by Hollywood and truly learn about our brothers and sisters around the world.

My Love Affair of Russian Literature

From Crime and Punishment to Anna Karenina, from Pushkin to Gogol, Russian literature is abounding with complex characters that aren't afraid to tackle the tough subjects. The way Dostoevsky creates battles between religion and psychology, which are infamous foes, the reader is compelled to not only apply these hard themes to the characters, but also pushes them to apply it to their own lives. My study of Russian literature is not only teaching me about Russian history and culture, but it is teaching me about myself and enriching my belief in God. Luckily it takes me forty minutes by metro to get almost anywhere--aka reading time!

Life of this Wanna-be Muscovite

How have I been spending my time here? I have been lucky enough to be able to work with the Pushkin State Art Museum and proof read some papers that have been translated into English for their Cyprus Art Exhibit. I have also been volunteering a few times a week at the American Center where I get to meet with people from all over Russia and help them improve their English skills. I love the opportunity to meet with people from all walks of life. And I love to talk, so it is nice to have new people to talk with! Other than that? I finally finished HIMYM--The finale is a rant for a different time. I walk up A LOT of stairs. A LOT. I also like to race our friends when the take the elevator. Mostly because this gives me the chance to sing "Jackie VS. The Machine" in my head and feel triumphant when I get to our floor.

I have also been trying to improve my Russian skills. After a month of being here, I am finally able to hide my deer-in-headlights look when someone speaks Russian to me. I am finally starting to think quick enough to make a reply or at least ask them to speak slower. The latter usually ends with them rolling their eyes and walking away. But hey! Progress is progress! I am proud of the small victories.

The Great Mystery of Russian Women's Legs

Yo Sherlock! You busy? I could use some help here. I am completely baffled by the women's legs here. Not only because they are long and beautiful but because no matter how many layers I wear I cannot escape the cold and here these women are looking fantastic in a coat, skirt, and tights! T face the bitter wind without even flinching! My theory: Although their legs are incredibly thin and lovely, they are made of steel. This most likely occurred because Moscow is basically a gigantic stair-master.

Welp, that is all for now folks!


  1. I love learning about Russia through your eyes. You are so bright and funny. Maybe it's the Russian tights that are made of steel...or maybe they put handwarmers under their skirts. You need to learn how to ask in Russian. I am curious.

  2. Looks like I finally need to try out Russian Lit, I've always been a little afraid of it. haha I love hearing about Russia!!!

  3. Haha you use the word welp too! Wow that was really well written and interesting, great job!