Things are so different here. Back home, people come to our door all the time. Wanting us to buy something, delivering the mail, etc. Not here. One of the things we were told when we arrived here was not to open the door TO ANYONE. Even the police, unless it was someone we were waiting for. Even then, no one knocks at our door. Friends who come can come up to the 10th floor and use the bell and we can let them in through 2 locked doors to get to our door. I wonder how pizza is delivered.
The apartments are not set up to be friends with your neighbors. There are 4 apartments on our floor. In 4 months we have seen someone from one of the apartments 5 times.
We were also told that nothing is easy in Russia. We have found that to be true more than once. After months, we finally were able to purchase a crockpot which are not well known in Russia. With the help of Diana, a Russian who works in our mission office, found me the crockpot I wanted, ordered it, and had it delivered in a couple of days. WOW. Thanks Diana!
Haircuts are no longer a problem as Goar, a wonderful hairdresser I was introduced to by a church member who lives in Rosinka, a beautiful gated community in Mitina. The problem was getting there. /Even though it is only about 5 minutes from the apartment,there is no easy way to get there other than being driven and that's not going to happen. Plus there is a guard at the gate and you have to show your card. I don't have one. Anyway, Goar now does many of the senior sister missionaries and she agreed to come to our apartment and cut the hair of 3 of us. YEAH. Now she'll come to us every 5 weeks or when we need her.
Goar is a lovely 20-something Russian girl who speaks English and has been working at her haircutting profession for 10 years, starting when she was 16. (the average age for young people to start work). I showed her the haircut I wanted and she kindly said, "no Sister Barbara" and she explained why it wouldn't work for me. So I showed her a second haircut and she said the same thing. I gave up and said do what you want. While it was a very nice haircut, it is not what I want so when she comes back in September, I will insist on the haircut I want even if she doesn't think it is the right one for me. :)
We have been trying to get connected to English channels on our tv and it has been like pulling teeth. (except maybe more painful). I won't go into all the gory details, but supposedly, there is a Russian technician coming on the 11th to give us what we need so we can be connected with the English channels and enjoy a little tv on a cold winter night (of which there will be many we are made to understand) David has spent hours trying to get this worked out. It is hard when you are not speaking to someone who understands English. Finding English speaking is necessary but has been a challenge to find.