A gray and slushy February day is not going to make anyone fall in love with any city. Even Paris would be charm-free today, I'm sure. But sheesh. Moscow.
I was walking to the Metro today to collect the children from school and thinking about how, before I moved here, everyone I spoke to who had previously lived in Moscow positively gushed about the place. "Oh, you're going to love it!" "Oh, we had such fun there."
Um. I'm waiting. It's been over a year. Where's the fun?
I don't hate it. But my life here is rather routine.
Wake up. Fix breakfast. Arrange lunches. Send family out the door. Clean the house. Do some laundry. Provision. Play on the Internet. Read a little. Talk to The Spouse on the phone. Collect children from school. Supervise homework. Prepare dinner. Greet The Spouse. Put children to bed. Watch some TV. Talk about our day. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Not unpleasant. But not memorable.
When I gently grumbled to The Spouse, he suggested the reason I'm not having more fun is that there is limited fun to have inside our apartment with two children.
"We never go out without the kids!" he said. And he's right.
Finding a perfect babysitter here has well and truly stumped me.
I have a lovely young woman, a college student. She's great. But she lives a million miles away in a university dorm that locks its doors around midnight. I have to keep a close eye on the time so she can take the Metro back. She has spent the night on our couch a few times, but our apartment is small . . . It's a good solution now and then, but I wouldn't want to do it every week. And I think neither would she, especially during the week.
I talked to my Russian neighbor about her 14-year-old daughter. She's willing, but has activities of her own. And, truthfully, I would feel guilty keeping a 14-year-old up even as late as 11:00 on a school night. I might have to try her on a Saturday. But a lot of regular expat activities take place Tuesday through Thursday.
When I post ads on the expat forums, I either get Filipinas who want to be full time nannies, people who expect that my driver will take them home, or, forgive me, African students. I feel bad about sending a young woman of color home on the Metro late at night. Yeah, they are adults and can make up their own minds. But I would worry every single time that they might run into trouble. I feel bad enough sending my white sitter home by herself at night.
What about high school kids from my kids' school? Lots of them live near the school, which is a 30-minute walk from our door. But I can't send a high school kid to walk home alone in the dark. And I don't want to walk someone home at that hour either.
Am I over-analyzing this? Making it harder than it needs to be? Just plain whiny?
Waiting... - *In October on Manezh Square, outside of the Kremlin* It's the final countdown until the Olympics... Here's a link to an article that was in the "Russia ...
4 years ago