When I was at home in August, traveling and living in this part of the world felt normal and not out of the ordinary to me. I didn’t realize how strange it actually was until I was at the salon getting my hair cut and the lady acted in shock when I said I was hoping to get a job in Ukraine. “Oh, yeah, I guess that does seem a bit odd to hear a young American girl say she is hoping to move to Ukraine.”
Ukraine – probably one of the more cut-off feeling Eastern European countries – lacking sufficient budget airlines, highways, and popular gauge of train tracks – barring Australians and South Africans without a visa – sometimes waking up to no hot water or even no cold water – just plain mysterious. But, like I said before, it feels normal now to be living here – everything from hearing Russian on the streets straight down to the circa 1975 style apartment I just moved into. It’s probably a combination of just getting used to it and an attraction to all things “retro”, but I love my new apartment!
I am rooming with another teacher from the language school – a Canadian named Tanya (you’ll probably hear a lot about her) – who I get along with quite well. We have two large rooms, balcony, kitchen, bathroom, an extra bed, washing machine (but no dryer), all the cooking supplies we will ever need, enough Russian books to keep me busy for about 10 years, a nice tea set, a dining room table that could host Christmas dinner when pulled out, and so much more.
Our first impression on walking into the apartment was that it felt like living in your grandparents’ basement – partially because an old couple was in fact living here before. We had our first apartment guest last night and we were very happy to hear him say that he thinks we have the nicest apartment out of the all the teachers thus far. Go us! And, we are also very close to the bridge meaning we are also closer to the metro line. Oh! And I also just found out I get to teach at the school that is literally a 5 minute walk away from here instead of the one that would take an hour commute each way! How cool is that?!
Unfortunately, we don’t yet have internet in the apartment, so I decided to keep busy by putting together a little video of forgotten clips from the past year. It makes me feel all nostalgic and miss all the cool people I met along the way. It has truly been a great year!
Living in a Dreamworld from Brooke Schoenman on Vimeo.