Celebratin‘ in Style

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Hurrying out of my flat to be sorta on time for the reception 

What would be a better way to celebrate the 3rd of October than attending the reception at the ambassador’s residence in Moscow? I can only think of one: bumping into an old friend at the reception and celebrating together. The world is a village – oddly enough, Moscow keeps reminding me of that and never denies me the pleasure of running into friends from my earlier stays.

Since the Day of German Unity is -obviously- not a holiday in Russia I was teaching that day. Nevermind! The lovely cake we had at work and the fact that students brought us sweets because of the upcoming teacher’s day totally made up for working on a holiday 🙂

Part 2 of my 3rd of October celebration was an adventurous night at my friend’s place. Thanks to Jamie Olivier we had a fantastic salad, my friend worked her magic with the pasta, and there was a themed dessert ( – hope the German flag is recognisable).

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Dinner is served.

However, our chilled Dumb and Dumber film night held an aggravating surprise at 2 a.m. when we both were yearning for those few hours of sleep ahead of us. The new IKEA sofa-bed wouldn’t stay fold out properly, instead it kept folding back into the sofa as soon as we touched it let alone lay down on it. After numerous vain attempts of turning the sofa into a stable bed and contemplating the problem for a good long while we got out the tool box, unscrewed the bed’s feet and re-attached them. This time in the right position. The bed had kept us up for an extra hour, but eventually, we got our well-deserved 5 hours of sleep.
An observation I made the next morning: 12 a.m. is too late for Maria to speak Russian, 8 a.m. is too early for Yulia to speak English which resulted in a lovely English-Russian mix for a conversation.

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Customer Care

The second thing I did after my arrival was a very necessary trip to a certain Swedish furniture shop. Luckily, its opening hours are until 2 a.m.- so my friend and I decided to go shopping around 8 p.m. – supper time. It’s no surprise that we got stuck in the restaurant part right in the beginning of our expedition. Despite the obvious, hunger was not the only factor to be blamed for our delay. As soon as I saw those yellow letters on the blue backdrop I developed a terrible craving for Swedish(-ish) food: Skorpor Kardemumma (rusk, Zwieback), Fläderdrycker, Dammsugare, chokladbollar.

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As anticipated, we spent hours and hours wandering through this place of homy comfort. On top of our list was a fold-out couch for my friend and since I was planning to make frequent use of this new guest bed in the future we definitely had to test the softness of the mattresses. No effort was too much for us. We would even try out sofas that were displayed on shelf-type thingies high up. They were hard to reach, because one wasn’t supposed to sit on them. Nevermind, we climbed the couches anyway until a sales assistant enlightened us about thickness or rather thinness of the shelf floor. We got down there a lot faster than we got up  and quit climbing for the rest of our shopping trip. Further more, the sales assistant offered us to personally deliver our couch after his shift had ended- around  2:30 a.m. We declined his friendly offer.
Finally, we had ticked off everything on our list and once we started queuing at the cash point, near-instantly, a man approached us. Looking at our cart, huge furniture boxes amateurishly piled on top of each other, he asked Do you need help with this? In other words he was offering us a door-to-door deliver right away (and no, he was not an employee of the shop) – this is costumer care at it’s best: fast, cheap and personal.

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Добро пожаловать в Москву! Welcome to Moscow!

Autumn 2014, once again I’m sitting in plane on my way to Moscow – one of the most amazing places in world, for me anyway 🙂

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On the Moscow river bank

The car ride from the airport to my new home was particularly enjoyable. Judging by the experiences of my last stays it used to be a very special occasion seeing the city from a car’s perspective since I always used public transport. The ride was a walk down memory lane, recognising landmarks and reminiscing.The typical Moscow life started right on the first night. Just a couple of hours after my arrival my friend came by to pick me up for dinner at Shokoladnitsa and a walk along the river Moscow, crossing my favourite bridge and walking through Gorky park. I was amazed how much it had changed and how pretty everything looked long the river – no dodgy parts anymore.

My new home is a room (with a TV which provides an enjoyable way of language practise) in a nice little flat located in a green residential area in the north of Moscow. Any time of the day you can see people out and about, families, teens as well as elderly people enjoy the many parks in our neighbourhood. Every day, I pass through one of them on my way to work – it’s nice 20-minute-walk. As a bonus, I’m living right next to one of the nicest buildings in Moscow which is especially beautiful at night when it’s lit up. My colleagues are from the US, GB, NZ, Columbia, Italy and Russia. Two of them are my flatmates, in other words England and Colorado (originally Missouri) are still part of my life 🙂

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Walk in the centre of Moscow with my flatmates

Moscow is famous for it’s Indian summer бабье лето. There is nothing else like walking around the city at such a beautiful late summer night.

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