|Annunciation Cathedral after a recent storm|
new apartments considered so far: 4 (2 real, 2 fake)
|Goodbye, afternoon writing sessions on the balcony!|
Maybe all that can be explained away as perfectly normal landlady-tenant relations, but it's an indisputable fact that she hates the cat. In fact, she'd skin him and turn him into a pair of earmuffs if she had her way. So, the logical step is to move out.
The idea of looking for and living in a new place is glamourous and exciting. Will the wallpaper be striped or flowered? Will the shower and toilet be separate compartments? Will the fridge be Soviet model A or B? But no, haha, really- what will the view from the window be like? Will the neighbors be friendly? What kind of new cool things will we find to photograph in the neighborhood? I really do love moving in to a new place, exploring a new environment!
After the scam, we saw a place in this same building that I immediately fell in love with. It was a cute one-room, almost a little hobbit hole, with a tiny balcony table and a cozy nap nook and a likeable landlady. But, ugh, the price was the same as our current rent. Later I saw the apartment advertised online via an agent for a more reasonable price. The landlady contacted us again and for a glorious moment I thought she'd announce the rent drop and things would work out.... but turns out she just wanted an English teacher for her daughter.
D viewed another apartment last night, back in our original neighborhood of Holodna Gora. We had to rule it out because the place (shockingly!) had wall-to-wall carpeting in some light shade.... which I know would all-too-quickly turn to "grey cat" shade. Wow, wall-to-wall carpeting, I've never encountered that here before! Anyways, the good news is this: a realtor friend of a friend is on our team now, so the search widens. The second piece of good news is that it's pipe repair season and the city has turned off hot water until next month and I am seriously offering up daily prayers of thanks for our boiler! Just keep your fingers crossed for me that when we move in July we won't be moving to a boiler-less apartment in the next region scheduled for pipe repairs! :p
2 Russian lessons a week
|Does beer improve the ability to speak a foreign language? Or does it merely- in the immortal words of Homer Simpson- "krill bain cells"?|
Also, not sure if this is education or not, but I'm on week 4 of this 5-week workout challenge. I now want to make a million dollars just to fly in Jessica Smith as my personal trainer. She. is. amazing!
currently teaching around 13 English classes a week: usually 5 hours/week with groups, 8-10 hours/week with individual private students
|"To the student soldiers, 1941-1945"|
I've created syllabi for all of my private students and it's so rewarding to have total creative control over the lesson planning. Lesson planning is the dirty reality of teaching and if you're not careful, it can end up taking more time than the actual lesson does. Kind of makes sense when you think about it, as you have to learn something before you can teach it. Nowadays I'm sticking closely to a timer and when that bell goes off I try to stop the planning. Doesn't always happen, but it's a step toward reclaiming hours and hours of time before they get sucked into the infamous lesson-planning-time-distortion-anomaly. You teachers out there know exactly what I mean!
Anyways, it is summer and I hope to have more time for exploration soon. I'll leave you with a quick peek at what's out there these days.
|Lenin statue towering above the farmers market in Freedom Square|
|More Freedom Square. What would Lenin say if he could see all that advertising?|
|Sovietskaya metro stop (and did you catch the Hangover III poster?)|