Not Much Time for Sleep!

It’s amazing how much can happen in a week here! Here’s a quick update on what has been going on in Tatarstan. Weekend in Kazan Last weekend, I was invited to Kazan(the largest city in Tatarstan) by the daughter of a teacher at the Institute, who works there as an English teacher and completed herContinue reading “Not Much Time for Sleep!”

The Country Where the G.P.S. Scolds You: A Little Post on Cultural Differences

After about a month of being here, I am still finding it hard to adjust in certain ways. I am not yet used to what, through my cultural lens, appears to be unnecessary harshness and scolding. Although on the logical level, I understand that American and Russian communication styles differ greatly, I have still takenContinue reading “The Country Where the G.P.S. Scolds You: A Little Post on Cultural Differences”

Second Language

It is an uncomfortable way to live, to be able to understand yet to lack the means to be understood, to be able to receive, but not to give, to be able to perceive the inside but still be an outsider, desperately pounding on a door you’ve longed to enter for almost a decade. ItContinue reading “Second Language”

A Good Beginning

The theme for this week’s meeting of the Elabuga English Club was “English Proverbs,” and the proverb I was asked to explain sums up these first few weeks. “The first blow is half the battle,” accurately describes the front-loaded nature of adapting to a new culture, job, and social group simultaneously. These first few weeksContinue reading “A Good Beginning”

They Call it Culture Shock

It comes most noticeably at first in the assault of your senses: in the din of new sounds flooding your ears, in the thick scent of lead paint that varnishes university walls, in the bright colors of houses that contrast with the crumbling roads and mud-splattered Ladas. It comes secondly in trying to navigate theContinue reading “They Call it Culture Shock”