Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Episode 5: Rob's mind goes blarghargharghargh (a la Nigel Thornberry)

Blargharghargharghargh! The flight's on Saturday morning from Heathrow Termnial 5 (oh dear) and on BA ( oh good). I'm a mixture of nerves and excitement - I wouldn't say i'm losing sleep, just finding it a lot harder to get to sleep...

At the front of my mind are all the little things that you might not think about when going abroad but are actually pretty important:

a Cat - will there be one?
Have I packed plug adaptors? (Russia seems to use the general, European ones)  Will my landlady let me use the shower every day? Will she have a cat? How long will my commute to the university take? 3 or 4 big jumpers?  Is there a Karelian dialect to get round? Will my landlady have a cat? What's a suitable gift to give someone from Russia? Am I going to freeze to death in the name of fashion? Will my landlady have a cat? What is Russian vodka like? Will I have access to the internet at home, or have to frequent cafes? Will my landlady actually have a cat?

And breathe.

Hidden amongst my trivial and daft worries there are a couple of pretty good points. Electrical appliances need the correct adapater. Forum trowling has yielded the answer that Russia mostly operates with European style plugs. Dialects and accents are certainly a concern although for a country of Russia's size it is surprisingly uniform.

Buying a gift to give a host or hostess is (according to Lonely Planet) something that is taken very seriosuly in Russia. I think staying in food and drink is a safe bet. A bottle of wine is the kind of thing that should suffice but with alcoholism still a significant problem in Russia, is a drink necessarily the kindest gift to give somebody, especially if you don't know your host's family situation?

Devon is famous for fudge (apparently) so this is an option. English tea is a good idea as long as my hostess doesn't think I want her to feed it to me instead of Russian tea... probably can't go wrong with biscuits though!

suggestions to the usual address!
last post from the UK coming soon!

PHOTO CREDITS: Cat photo, "Sleepy", taken under Creative Commons from's photostream on flickr -

No comments:

Post a Comment