Thursday, May 19, 2016

Homecoming

Ever since I learned I’d be moving to Texas, I’ve been plotting my return to Russia. I started studying Russian again, I applied for grants, and I binge watched a Russian TV show called “How I Became Russian.” Nine months, one government fellowship, and twenty episodes later…I’m back!

Since landing 24 hours ago, I’ve gotten two “welcome home” texts and an email from a friend in the US asking how “home” is. I’m not sure when Moscow became my adopted home, but it’s hard to deny that that’s what it is. I felt like I was going home while I waited for my flight to board in Austin, and my excitement only grew in the twenty or so hours it took for me to get here. By the time I got to the Brussels airport and saw the one Russian-language sign (encouraging Russians to do some Duty Free shopping), I just wanted to be back in Moscow already.

I knew I missed Moscow, but I don’t think I realized how much I missed it until I got here. I missed the green of the trees as you land at Domodedovo, the way the outskirts give way to city as the Aeroexpress train rolls into Moscow, the crush of people as you descend into the depths of the metro, and the impossible height of the Lenin statue as you emerge at street level in Kaluzhskaya Square. I missed the taste of sweet cherry preserves in tart Russian kefir, the pastel purple of lilacs blooming in springtime, and even the smell of secondhand smoke from cheap cigarettes. I missed reasonably priced sea bass, face cream made with caviar and crushed up reindeer antlers, and contact lenses purchased from vending machines. Every familiar sight or sound causes me to break out in a cheesy grin, which means that I’ve been running around Moscow like I’m in the opening credits of the Mary Tyler Moore Show while the rest of the city is a sea of unsmiling faces. But I don’t care, because I’m back in Moscow for the summer, and it feels like home.

4 comments:

  1. Wow, that's so exciting that you found a way back :) Looking forward to more posts about Moscow!

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    1. Thanks! Glad I still have an audience :)

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  2. Love it! When are you going to take me with you?

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    1. Don't tease me--you know I'll take you anytime. And my visa's good for another year!

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