And we’re home.
After eight and a half weeks spent living in Syktyvkar, Russia, I finally returned home to Scotland on December 22nd, 2012. One day after the world didn’t end.
I have only been back a week, but already I have started self-editing the less appealing aspects from my memory — the illness, all of the restless nights and the cockroach are all but forgotten. Bitter has lost out to sweet.
The last week aside, the cold wasn’t nearly as unbearable as I had expected. It took only minutes after my arrival for the people there to put my mind at ease. And I even started to enjoy pickles towards the end.
Instead, when I look back at my time in Russia I see only friendship, warmth and enthusiasm. Soup, sushi and cheesecake. For just over two months I was learning again. I was teaching. I was back abroad. I was on an adventure.
Over the last couple of months I have picked up the basics of new language, tried new foods, met new people and explored a whole new part of the world. I have drunk coffee through a straw, watched movies in Russian and walked on a frozen lake.
I know now that my body ceases to function after about -22°C, that after three consecutive flights my ears will take about a week to pop and that I can’t eat or even look at tongue without wanting to be sick. But I also know that I can get by in the Arctic circle, ride a horse and, perhaps most surprisingly, teach.
This blog has also shown me that I have more to offer the internet than snarky reviews, twenty tweets a day and photos of myself in various drunken states. I have watched this blog grow and develop, and I’m not ready to leave it behind just yet. I still have a niche to find, after all, and there are plenty more places to look.