Well, Moscow April Fooled us this week, teasing spring and then throwing a bunch of snow around like confetti. The buildings are full of icicles and winter jackets are out once again. Apparently Moscow spring tends to go back-and-forth like this. Serves me right for crowing about doing Napoleon one better.
Erratic weather aside, I'm stunned that we're actually in April. It feels like only a little while since I stepped off the plane at Domodedovo last August - and like no time at all since my visit to Israel. Time is slipping away, and I'm trying to enjoy myself, though as the days go by I become increasingly impatient for it to be over. The school's been fun, the students are great, but looking at the calendar I find myself quite fidgety. I've got so many plans, and baby, it's time to live them.
My tentative date of departure from Moscow is June 23rd, barring any kind of opposition on my school's part, though I'm confident it will work out. From there, it's on to St. Petersburg, Finland, and my ultimate bucket list item - Scandinavia. I, too, can frolic in the fjords and chase reindeer, presumably on a motorcycle with a tattooed hacker, or else during a chess game with Death. I'm not picky. Mostly, I'm excited to visit countries where I'm not quite so foreign. Sure, the countries of Northern Europe (I'm tacking on Germany and Iceland) are pretty different from Canada. At the same time, I don't need a visa, our countries agree on most major International Incidents (as us expats have been very worried about lately - but that blog post comes later), and there's generally a lot less of a cultural clash. Russia is exciting precisely because it's so different, but differences can be very wearing.
The next eleven weeks are going to be a tough slog, no matter what I do. I cling to the weirdest things to keep my thoughts on track. For example, I brought a big bottle of shampoo back from Israel, and whenever I see it perched on my bathtub, I smile. I had an awesome, relaxing time, and it will happen again. Seeing those glorious Hebrew letters under the Head and Shoulders logo brings back all those good memories of vacation. And, you know, sunlight.
(Have I cracked? I think I've finally cracked.)
Of course, once back in Canada I have absolutely no plans, but all in good time. If not, there's always my backup plan of marrying Prince Harry. For now, all I can do is wait in Moscow...and wait...and wait...