We have been in Russia for 4 months now. There certainly are things to get used to...like how quickly things DON'T get done. We were told about one month ago that our cable televison would kick in on July 1. Well, it hasn't happened. So, we call the cable company through our Russian office worker. We were told that we had a cable box - it is part of the contract. Hmmmm. I checked with the couple who lived here for 20 months before we moved in and they never had cable and no cable box. PLUS taking the apartment apart looking for the cable box was fruitless. Calling the landlady Zhenah was the next step and we are waiting to hear back. NOTHING HAPPENS QUICKLY IN RUSSIA. At least not when you want it to. Of course we are now paying for cable. It would have been nice to get Animal Planet and news in English this past week when I was home sick for several days. Instead, I watched the Russian Circus in Russian of course, but at least I "understood" what I was seeing. The repairman doesn't show up on time? REMEMBER YOU ARE IN RUSSIA. (now wait a minute. We have this kind of thing happen in the States too if I remember correctly) but truthfully not to this extreme. And the fact they can't understand us makes it so frustrating!
I was told that it isn't easy to go anywhere and get things done quickly. I think more than half of Moscow is on vacation. They call it "Dasha Season." I think that's where the tv cable repair man is. Many people own a little summer place outside of Moscow where they go for the weekend to get away from it all. Now these dashas can simply be an 8x10 shack or a very nice cottage or home by the Black Sea. Even the little ones like their own little yard where they can grow a garden. Remember most of the people live in apartments in the biggest city in the world so a little getaway is most welcome. But I diverse....................
Our copy machine at the office is broken. Not a good thing. WE use it all the time and need it badly. Getting someone from the Service Center to fix it has been a joke. Of course, everyone is on vacation. Or they just don't seem to understand how important it is that we have a working copy machine (which was overdue for a checkup anywahy)
How I miss being able to get a haircut. To be able to call and make an appointment and be understood and be able to get there in a timely way. I really like the girl who did my hair when I first got here. Gore is her name. An ugly name for a beautiful girl. She works in a high-end salon in Rosinka, a very nice family area of Mitina about 5 minutes from the office (or our apartment). Getting there is so difficult that we have invited her to come to us. There are 3 of us who would like a haircut so it will be financially a good thing for her and us. Because she is currently on vacation (remember it is Dasha Season) we can't set it up for another week or so. Getting to Elder and Sister L's apartment will take a bus ride and a good walk, or one long walk. Either way, because she understands some English and does a beautiful job, it is worth it.
REMEMBER YOU ARE IN RUSSIA. It's a good thing to remember. Keep a sense of humor, be grateful for what is available and roll with the punches. Now, MAYBE we will have cable tv before we are ready to leave and go back to the States in 14 months. MAYBE I will have gotten a haircut by then. MAYBE the copy machine will have been fixed and we will be able to carry on with the vast amount of work that needs to be done on this machine. Time will tell.
Many exciting cultural events are in our future and we will share them with you as they happen. Until then, dos vidonya.