Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Things that have become normal for us...

Running the hot water for 7-10 minutes in order to convince it to make its way up the pipes from the bottom of the building.  If it takes less time, one of our neighbors has already run the water.

Stopping in at the fresh Turkish bread shop after school to get a "baton" (loaf) if we need it for dinner.

A dessert of nutella and baton.

The smell of cigarette smoke.

Hitting up the "Supermarket", the bizarre (lots of fruits and veggies), and then maybe the bread shop on our weekly shopping trips.

Walking to get our groceries, walking to church, walking just to walk.

Looking like a fool when attempting to speak or understand Russian.

Going up and down our 7 flights of stairs.

Being stared at while running, particularly if we happen to run in the evenings.

Lighting the stove with a match.

Waiting for the next not-so-busy bus.  Avoiding the marshukas.

Wedding processions that sound and look like a stream of cop cars - lights, sirens, everything except validity.

Eating eggplant.

Cars creeping into, or through, the intersection before the light turns green.


Gunshot sounds outside our windows.  Thank you boys with firecrackers.

Taking off our shoes when entering our home, and anyone else's.

Finding our bills hanging out of our decrepit mailbox at the base of the building or in the door jam of the front door.

Not knowing exactly what the bills are for.

Getting a portion of our paycheck in crisp hundred dollar bills every month.  Okay, this still doesn't feel normal.

Searching for Mozzarella cheese - it can be found.   Not thinking about cheddar cheese.

Changing money at one of the many "oben ballyuts" across the street.

The fancy footwork that is sometimes required to maintain one's balance on the autobus.  There is a certain sway, a certain rhythm our bodies have quickly learned.

The friendly faces of people selling their wares on the street.

Not understanding what people are saying around us, and not expecting too.

Speaking as though no one around us can understand.  This might be a bad habit to keep.

Spending less than .25 cents each per day for transportation to and from school.

Getting in a car and not reaching for a seat belt.  Being pleasantly surprised if there is one. 

Asking our school secretary/administrative assistant for help when we have an apartment concern, or when we just need help figuring out where and how to take a vacation.

Having the rest of "our" world be a day behind.  At least we always know what's coming.

Spending more on a weekly coffee than we would if we ate 8 samcis.

Having time in the evenings to blog, read, study Russian, plan, scheme, and dream.



  1. So glad you guys have a blog now! Looking forward to reading more about your adventures. Thanks for sharing! -the Vawters