Friday, March 6, 2009

Returning to Russia

It started to feel like Russia again when I was waiting for my plane in Heathrow and I could hear the buzz of Russian conversation around me.

I sat on the plane behind some Russians, and they were having a very loud conversation bemoaning the state of airport security. I couldn't stand the sound of their voices. I thought, this isn't a good sign if I am already tired of hearing Russian. (I wonder if people feel that way about Americans speaking loudly in English everywhere?) They kept talking and talking. Finally I reasoned that the man was probably drunk or otherwise under the influence. There was just no way a normal person could nag for so many minutes in a row.

Arriving in St. Petersburg was easy, and once I was talking with my friends, I didn't mind hearing Russian at all. It sounded nice.

I always have to go back and read previous jet-lag notes in order to assure myself that I'm not going crazy. I want to be busy and I want to do nothing simultaneously.

I do have to say that it's a LOT easier flying into Russia in March than in January. I remember on January visits curling up in a ball and wondering, "why is it so dark?" But since I've been back, I've been treated to spring sunshine and temperatures above freezing.

Even though there is a fair amount of daylight, I get confused at times by the darkness, or simply by the position of the sun. Even though it's perfectly natural for it to be dark in the evening, something about it feels wrong or apocalyptic to me. If you've ever had jet-lag, you probably know what I'm talking about.

I went to the store yesterday and also traveled to another part of the city to get registered. I was shocked by how expensive everything had become. There are also a few high-rise buildings around that I don't quite remember, so I'm wondering if it's just me or if they were built in my absence.