First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for reading, commenting, etc. I really love and appreciate all of your comments and just the fact that you’re actually reading or simply looking at my blog. Cheers.
Last week I completed my first full week. I taught 5 times, went to a high school, and finally sat in on Russian and Turkish classes. I MADE FRIENDS. well, sort of. they will probably be my students in November, but they invited me for a night “out on the town”. Although our night ended early because of rain, it was great to have company; super nice girls.
I want to talk about all this things, but more importantly, I would like to describe to you my living situation in the perspective of Friday.
A bit of background is needed: I was living with Katya who barely talked to me in days. She barely said hello or goodbye, sat in her computer the entire time she is home, and then just went to bed; no good night, no warning sign, nothing. On Friday night, I got home around 10:08. I sat in my room, said hi to my mom, checked my email, etc. About 10:30 she knocks on my door.
“can you please go to bed, I want to sleep. But sit for a minute, just soon go to bed”.
What is going on here?! I was pretty upset about this. I still wanted to study Turkish, and work on a few other things. So I just turned off my light about ten minutes after she dropped by and delivered her demand. And sure enough, yup, you guessed it, before 11pm she got up and sat on her computer until ONE AM. So whyyyy on earth did she want me to go to bed? So the point of this anecdote is that I could definitely feel Katya did not want me there any more. This was confirmed on Saturday morning when she accused me of breaking her iron. I used it once, and only for a hot second, because guess what – it didn’t work.
Friday morning I met with my director and the head of the English Department and headed to the main building where we were to meet the dean of the university and the vice-dean – formality reasons. We both figured the meeting would last us an hour. The dean invites us into his conference room, all set up with candy and cookies, coffee and tea. I had the first great cup of brewed coffee since America. I drank three. And man, did I need them.
The deans first question to me is, how is your living situation? Oh, the Golden question! And so, I, and more so my director explain that I lived in the dorms, but I was told 700 rubles a day, and for that amount it wasn’t worth it, as I could rent a very nice apartment with all the things I need, in a quiet area, etc. Next thing I know the vice rector, the kommondantka, and two other women are in the room with us. They get into this big discussion. The dean was a very nice man; he began to explain that the problem with this situation was communication and that they needed to make a sort of contract that states what kind of room foreigners should have, what the room should have in it, how much international students and teachers should pay, etc. He talked about the university giving a good impression, so that people want to come back.
The kommondantka chirped in, “well we haven’t had a complaint yet”.
And the dean responded “how do we know they’re not going back to their home countries, complaining there, and never coming back again”.
I like this guy.
Then comes the catch. They start arguging about the price I was given for the dorms. This is ridiculous, the dean says and then asks, “who told you that price”. Ohmanohmanohman…. Umm.. Well. “who told you!!!” repeats not only the dean, but also my head of Dept. “um well she did. The kommondantka,” I wispered, nodding my head at the lady across the way. Oh man, I just threw her UNDER the bus. She gets all defensive, blah blah, blah. I want to bawl because I’m so stressed out. Everyone is dismissed and the rector tells us to wait for him and we’ll go together to the dorms.
So we first go to the room I lived in. He then says that all the floors have been remodeled except the first floor. Naturally. But, I couldn’t move up to the second floor yet because they not quite sure how many other foreigners will be coming, or some other bull shit I didn’t understand. Oh well. Then we looked at another room; it’s better than my previous one. It has a rug, two chairs; it’s a lot more homely and away from 6 AM barking dogs. But there’s still blatant panels missing from behind the toilet, a light out, so on and so forth. The rektor starts listing off things to be fixed, and the kommondantka just nods her head. Then suddenly, both him and the head of my department are looking at me, saying “well, do you agree? Do you agree?” I didn’t make it much further past that. I was so frustrated and tired. It’s going to be free. There going to fix the aforementioned things, and well, give me what I need I guess.
And so, I have moved back into the dorms.
To be honest, i’m content now. Very content. This room is much more comfortable than the last one I was in, and I’ve worked hard the last two days to make it my own. It so happens that instead of 6 AM barking dogs I have 8 AM construction on the new building. The rektor explained this building would be something similiar to an American university Student Union.
But, I’m okay with this; I need to get up in the morning anyways, so I think of it as a wake-up call. The most unfortunate thing is a poor kitchen, but being free, I can afford to splurge a bit on food. And I like splurging on food. Even funnier – I am getting extra perks here. They gave me extra dishes and such; but the best thing – the “guard babushka” stops me on my way out today to tell me that I need to leave my key at the desk tomorrow morning. Well, why? Because, a cleaning lady is coming. I HAVE A CLEANING LADY?! what is this?! amazing? I think so! Perhaps I should cry in front of the rektor more often and they’ll hire me a cook.. or something.
So now, pictures; now that I am finally settled in and have it set up the way I imagined my room to be in the beginning – well, for the most part.