Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Russian Influence

First off I'd just like to say go me! I double checked the disconnect button and so I can now make my internet time stretch longer by disconnecting from online while I type. HUZZAH!

Have you ever thought- Really thought- about how much you are influenced by the everyday world around you? If you haven't then take a step back now and think about it. Like I never realized how much I was influenced by my friends back home until someone told me I sound like them, or I started using some of the same phrases they do. But that's not really the point of this post (Sorry to all my lovely Druzya.) The point of this post is that I didn't realize until today how much of an influence this city has made on me in only three short weeks.

Three weeks. Yup. Yesterday was the official start of my fourth week here. I didn't realize how much I'd been influenced by this new world around me until Judith walked into the picture. Judith is an American. She's an older lady who spends ten months at a time travelling around Russia's far east giving seminars on teaching English. This is here third or fourth time doing this. She is based in Vladivostock and travels to all different far east cities. Including Yakutsk.

She went with us to the zoopark (that's pronounced Zahpark in russian. I should have been excited at the prospect of getting to speak english to a native english speaker since that's one of the things I was complaining about in my paper journal. Honestly I prefered to stick with my limited Russian if I could.

Judith can't speak Russian therefore it kind of boosted my ego to know that I at least had an inkling of what Raisa, Masha, and Evgenia were talking about and in some instances I could sort of join in on the conversation.

I never thought I'd come to love this city. I'll never forget my thoughts as they drove me home from the airport. I thought this was the ugliest city in the world, yet as we drove past it on the way to the cafe where we ate lunch I wanted to proudly point out "That's our University!" Except I realized that Judith already knew this as she'd given seminars there the past two days.

I guess it just surprised me, to know that I've come to feel this way about the city, and the Russian people in only three weeks. No, I don't feel Russian (At least not yet) and I'm definitely not Yakutian, but it doesn't really feel like I'm quite American either. To be perfectly honest, it's not a bad feeling. It's like I'm neither one nor the other, but a little of both and that's okay with me.

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