Aside from losing my luggage in transit, Moscow is looking pretty cool so far. They wouldn’t let me out of baggage claim to see if my driver was waiting for me. Luckily he did, for over an hour past my arrival time. The drive really put my Russian to the test, pretty much the immersion I’m looking for. The roads are ginormous!
When I got to my flat I wasn’t expecting such a nice place. From the outside, one might anticipate entering a dungeon, but once you get past the series of giant heavy iron, leather encased doors, the inside reminds me of a serene Japanese spa. The whole place was recently renovated so it’s very functional and aesthetically pleasing. Kind of like a 4 star hotel. I have a really big bedroom with a piano in it too. Totally wasn’t expecting that. The first of the roommates to arrive let me have it which is perfect because I play the piano.
I hadn’t been given any details about my roommates so I didn’t know if we would be able to communicate in English or not, essentially forcing us to make the effort to speak Russian to each other. As it turns out my roommates are Canadian and American, which is awesome although I will still make the effort communicate in Russian with them. It’s going to be a fun time!
On the agenda for today: get a cellphone, track down my luggage, get a few groceries and explore the area.
Got the cell phone. That was interesting. I’m never sure if I should whip out the English or not but I have no choice for the most part. Some of the staff were curious as to what Canadians thought of Russians. I told them that they think Russians don’t smile and that girls have to be careful not to be kidnapped and whatnot, which is totally false. I think there is still a thick cold war perception of Russia in the West. But it’s still technically my first day, so we’ll see what more I learn about the culture. They told me about another facebook-like site vkontakte.ru. Going to check it out soon.
I will add pictures of my place to this post in the next day or so.