I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane

As my time in Russia comes to an end, I decided to make a list of the things I am anxious to get back to, as well as the things I will miss from Russia.

I can’t wait to get back to:

-My clothes. I have been wearing the same 6 shirts for the last 4 months. For being a person without the slightest bit of fashion sense, I am surprised at how much I miss my clothes.

-My family. I like them all. I want to see them again.

-Having a social life. You know, having friends and talking to people who are taller than 3 feet. And that speak the same language as you.

-BYU. I can’t wait to get back there.

-Free grocery bags at stores

-Fresh air. No smog, no cigarette smoke, no alcohol and no body odor.

-Vacuum cleaners

-Using the dollar and not trying to convert currencies in my head. I feel like I have been using play money for the last 4 months because the ruble doesn’t hold any value for me.

-American TV. Sadly enough, I am looking forward to catching up on Monk, Psych, the Office, 30 Rock, etc.

-NPR and the news.

-Being productive. There is very little I have to do here, so I don’t do a lot.

-Wireless internet

-12 hour clocks

-School (Ha! Just wait a month, Jesslyn, and you’ll be singing a different tune).

-Again, MY CLOTHES.

-Snow. It has been a warm winter and there has been a pathetic amount of snow here.

-Weekend trips to Park City

-Showering normally, without having to hold the showerhead. Also, water that doesn’t smell like fish.

-Being able to read words around me.

-Being able to sit on the ground and whistle indoors.

-My t-shirt quilt.

-Not having plates of garlic in every room

Things I Will Miss in Russia:

-My kids. They are awesome. They tell me daily that I am their favorite teacher (but that may or may not have to do with the fact that I give them English tokens when they say it).

-Some of the food, notably yogurt and juice. Also, tvorag, soup, buckwheat, and mysterious meat patties.

-The Metro. I love watching the people, exploring new stops, riding the endlessly long escalators, trying my best to act Russian, etc.

-Time. I have all the free time I could ever want here. Also, sleeping as late as I want.

-Being able say whatever I want in public and knowing that probably no one will understand me.

-Having meals made for me and doing no cooking.

-Being cool just for being foreign.

-Having kids at the school point at me and say to their parents, “Smatree! Amerikanka!”

-Singing with Lyla.

-NOT the school nurse. I have yet to meet someone as terrifying as her.

-Circle’s host family. Almir teaching me how to tie knots, Lilia stuffing me with food, Maya playing the harp…

-Lenin’s face on everything.

-New and exciting museums or other adventures every weekend & living in one of the great world cities.

-Not being in Provo.

-Weekend trips to St. Petersburg.

-Bursting out in songs from Fiddler on the Roof and Anastasia.

-Traveling several hours to and from church. It gives me a lot of time to think and prevents me from taking 5 hour naps on Sunday afternoons.

-The Russian teachers at the school. All the people at the school: the cooks that give us extra pancakes sometimes, the incredibly nice headmistress, the teachers that break out vodka at lunch and joke with us when we don’t eat the fish, the one that teaches us Russian and makes fun of my botched pronunciation, the ones I sign-language talk to, the ones that can’t understand me when I speak Russian to them, the security guards (including the one that unbuttons his shirt halfway down his chest, displaying his hairy chest and enormous gold cross, the one with slicked back hair, and the one that makes fun of me when I wear skirts), the office secretary who does yoga in the gym while we plan lessons and tries to speak English to us, the janitors that go out of their way to say hello, the Russian English teacher whose English I can barely understand, the doctor who brings cake on her birthday, the gym teacher who smiles a lot, the stretching teacher who changes clothes in our supply closet, etc.

-The beautiful forest surrounding our house.

-Having a guard dog.

-Peotre, the very patient groundskeeper.

-Living in a country so rich with history.

-Pancake Wednesdays.

-The blini stand at Molodojneye.

-Guyla, our crazy, patient, and knowledgeable coordinator.

I know I am forgetting loads of things on both lists but this will suffice. I cannot believe that I have less than 10 days here. What the what?

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