From November 9th -
Have you heard? (there’s a rumor in St Petersburg!) They have another American - ME! I am writing to you at 3am - I have already had like 5 hours of sleep and woken up a number of times thinking I was late to get up. Somehow I thought I was going to escape jet lag - ha!
My apartment is…. Not what I thought it would be like. It’s European large - 4 bedrooms and Russian nice. Everything is pretty old and dirty, but because it exists in our apartment and performs its functions, its almost a luxury. The people who have been living here haven’t been paying for internet, they’ve been stealing it from some unreliable unsecured source… I will probably convince them that we should just pay the $5 a month and actually have internet consistently. They seemed like they were working in that direction anyway.
I got to the apartment around 4:30pm local time and just wanted to crash. Forced myself to put away my clothes and met most of the flat mates. Cassie and Aaron I met last night, Zahra was on her way back from the UK and got in too late, so I haven’t met her yet - and she’s our boss! I met four other teachers last night too, but two of them I don’t really remember their names because we just randomly passed them on the street. The other two were in my apartment when I arrived. Elizabeth from Maine and Stephanie from Scotland. How about that folks?! When I meet people I CAN remember names, when it means the difference between being all alone in the largest country in the world or actually knowing someone who can help me negotiate the grocery store (which we did - I got pasta, 2 liter of soda, water, bread, and cookies for about 200 R - $7.50) and get a cell phone (which I believe they will take me to do today after work).
From Yesterday -
It’s 5am and I am up, again. Jet lag really sucks guys. I thought I had it licked on my first night. I didn’t go to bed early, just woke up at 3am, milled around for a bit and went back to bed. I wasn’t all that tired on my first full day, went to bed around 1am, woke up around 730 and I was so freaking exhausted. Yesterday I slept from 11:30am til 1, went to the main school for an appointment, came back around 3, slept from 4-5:30, went back to the main school from 7-8:30 to observe a class, came home again and ate dinner. I was WAY more tired than I have ever been in my life, as far as I can ever remember. Went to bed around midnight last night, and I am up at 5. What the hell?! Today Ashley is taking me to the clinic to get my HIV test - my SECOND HIV test- and I have to teach tonight in Petergof. I hope and pray that today’s classes will go better than the first ones. That was literally torturous, for both the teacher than the taught.
I better try to go back to sleep, or at least rest. Damn internet won’t let me connect from anywhere right now, so this will have to be posted later in the morning. Love you.
From Right now -
Will every morning be like this? I can’t sleep and can’t sleep so all I can do is think and think and cry and cry. Why on earth did I do this? Why would I voluntarily send myself half way around the world for 9 months? It’s worse than prison right now. I don’t have a phone, we barely have the internet. I certainly can’t have visitors and I can‘t go anywhere out of fear. I am not guaranteed food - I can barely acquire it myself. I feel like I am going crazy. When people say ‘homesick’, I usually think - oh, suck it up, what’s so great about home? So not true now. I could literally throw up I am so upset right now. Teaching is scary and hard - by the end of today I will have almost doubled my total teaching hours. Funny thing is, I guess if I get fired I get to come home. Oh, this worries me so. I am not supposed to feel like this so soon. I keep thinking - seriously? NINE MONTHS?! That’s just so long. But then I try to rationalize, it isn’t THAT long, relatively. It is, but it isn’t. When I am trying to sleep, its an ass long time. But when I try and think about nine months ago, where I was then…. Oh shit. That still seems like a long time ago. February. I was working at after school, it was cold as hell outside. That’s when I decided to do this. It felt like my life was going nowhere, and it was completely dull and boring and I needed excitement. That’s exactly what my life would be like if I were home right now I guess. The only reason my life was exciting up until I left was because I was working towards THIS.
I know I can come home if I really NEED to. But, I would be letting so many people down. And what would I DO when I got home? I really tried to prepare myself for being gone for 9 months, and everyone I know accepted it too. If I didn’t have a good reason for feeling the way that I do now, you should be worried about me. Please don’t let this freak you out, but, if I get so depressed that I think about doing rash things, I will come home first.
I just want to hear someone’s voice. The last person I talked to was my dad, when I was on the plane in Chicago. On SATURDAY. So I haven’t heard anyone’s voice in 3 days. Anyone who actually cares whether or not I am ok. It doesn’t seem like long, does it? But, think about it. When you are just walking around in your everyday routine, you talk to your friends, your sig. other, your parents, coworkers. Most of the people we choose to talk to care about us in some way.
Our only major break is two full weeks at Christmas and new years. I really thought that Christmas would be too soon to come home, plus, I don’t think I will be able to afford the plane ticket, but going the full nine months seems like it could be nine years.