So – days one and two are finally at a close. We left Detroit a little later than our scheduled 9:40pm departure time, but with our four hour layover in Paris, a little delay doesn’t really hurt anyone. The whole travel experience was made up mostly of sleeping, but my little triumph for the day was that they did have vegetarian meals for me and the other two veggies. So… hooray! Arriving back here in Moscow was a really strange experience. The name of the game for me today has been “cognitive dissonance.” How can I be having a once in a lifetime experience twice? Coming through passport control, claiming our bags, being met by our fabulous liaison Настя – it was all so foreign, but all so familiar. In particular, it’s nuts to come halfway around the world to have someone you know hug you and say how nice it is to see you again. Weird.
So we bussed out to the dorm – it was right where I left it. I have a bigger room this year, since I’m the RA/Den mother/house frau, which is nice. And there are a bunch of other American students around this summer as well, so that should be an interesting little cultural exchange within a cultural exchange.
Mostly, once we got to the dorm, we met to plan out tomorrow, there were plenty of complaints that we don’t have web access yet, and plenty of disbelieving stares when I broke the news that we don’t flush toilet paper here. I already have my guesses as to who’s going to be high maintenance, who’s going to be late all the time, who’s going to be easily distracted… so we’ll see whether I turn out to be right. But overall, I have a good feeling about this group.
Things I’ve forgotten: scotch tape, the correct extra bag (the one I brought is my tiny red one, not my medium red one) and my copy of Chekhov’s plays.
Things I should have forgotten: I packed way too many clothes. This is extremely unlike me.
I get the feeling that homesickness is going to be a bit stronger for me this year…but once we get started, I don’t think I’ll have too much time to notice.