Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Apartment/Random Things

For those of you who don't know - I got kicked out of my apartment.... Quite unbelievable to most of you, I am sure. I was shocked for about 30 minutes when I got the word from my realtor. However, it is quite common here for the landlord to decide they want the apartment back for no real reason....
So, last Sunday with the help of some friends, I moved into my new apartment. I really like it! Much closer to work, a proper bathroom - not soviet style - microwave, radio, good tv and fast internet - and CHEAPER! which means I am getting a cleaning person!! I can see this might be something I get addicted to..

I wanted to share some pics - but really, my place is still a mess - so here are a few of very random things in my apartment - but I'll share more after the cleaner comes :)

I have to unlock 4 doors to get into my apartment.....

I have a nice TV with alot of channels :)
The show below seems to be some gambling something or other... There seem to be alot of things you can do/play/vote for using your cell phone.

A giant lion in my living room! The landlord was quite happy that I would get to have this.

A tray on my stove - filled with dried stuff... I actually quite like it. My kitchen is very cozy, and my window opens to a little park.


I am really trying to understand the culture here, because things are certainly different that what I know. It is not really that they are "difficult", but things work differently - and actually getting to the bottom of how to accomplish something can be a challenge. Here are some things I have come across:

  • Generally, everything is someone else's responsibility - no matter who you ask. There are so many layers - and no one wants to bear the responsibility. I'm told there is some famous phrase about - "who to blame?" Like at work, I want to demonstrate how to do something in Excel... but first, we have to figure out if it is in their job description to do this, and then I need to get IT to show it because that is their job.......
  • Not sharing information........ information is power.... So, there is lots of uncertainty here
  • When information is shared - it is only the very minimum of what you need. For example, my internet here in my new apartment.... The landlord pays for it - so I did not deal w/the set up - so my realtor just tells me - turn the modem off and back on, and it should work...Uh, don't I need log in and password? So, I get that... Ne rabotat (does not work)...Finally, since everything at work is IT's job, I ask them. Thankfully one guy used to work for my internet company - and knows that I need to call them and give them some information from my computer for it to work..
  • Licensure/Credentials - seems to be quite often these are purchased rather than earned.
  • Interesting things learned in Russian language lessons - the phrase "is it possible?" also translates as "would you like to?" No wonder I get so many - "it is not possible"s!. The concept of "efficiency" seems to translate as "working harder/more"

Here are some things I love about Moscow

  • Everything and nothing are possible in the same moment.
  • Summer - the breeze, the parks, the flowers, the outdoor cafes
  • I am starting to like it being late so long...
  • I love that as a part of my work, I really need to know things about Kazkhstan, Armenia and Tajikistan.
  • Everything is so fluid - plans change at a moment's notice with a text message, it really makes you re-think strict planning and timelines :)
  • All the people you get to meet....


Patrick said...

Man I really like the lnext to last thing on the list... that sounds great.. holla girl

Michelle said...

Patrick, you are crazy! I certainly have learned to be more flexible here about everything.