It’s hard to explain or relate my life in Russia. So much so it often feels like another life or like I’m reading a vivid pop-up book with a clumsy plot. Open a page and there I am.
Five years… People spend that long in NYC and call themselves New Yorkers. So I was a Moscovite? Hardly. In Vermont we have a saying, “Can’t put a kitten in the oven and call it a cupcake.” By this superior logic, just as much as I don’t quality for true Vermontership—seventh generation—I also didn’t qualify for Moscovite status. Sidenote: Steven Seagal accepted Russian citizenship. Wow. What a world.
The intricacies of Russian life, leisure and the pursuit of happiness are for another post. While I stew on that slow burning pot of mental borscht, here is a page of the pop-up book ala November 2014—Russia, Spain, Vermont.
***I didn’t want to stay up late again and agonize over verbiage, but here we are again at 11 p.m. and it’s all hacked together. Rough. Grr. So be it. So be it. Sleep.
**** Looking to donate to my Movember campaign, raising funds and awareness for men’s health? Go here http://mobro.co/albunten and give all you can to help stop men dying too young.
Beardy boy on Red Square with hokey helmet.
Then it was gone—the beard and smoking—for the first of the month.
Ya gotta work hard to make the mo grow…just like those cacti. I had those things for YEARS!
I used to feed the birds on my window next to my desk. This was a friendly one.
I worked here at Gazprom but not in the big fancy tower…in the corporate education center to the left.
This was my university—The International College of Economics and Finance, an affiliate of The National Univeristy Higher School of Economics. Russians love long names.
I worked other places, too (freelance editing, private students, IELTS Examining, Academic Writing Center, etc), but the two above were the bread and borscht winners.
I rode my bike everywhere. She was called the Moscow Mule. This is me in the elevator of my building. Yes, I’m taking another selfie. Sue me.
I biked to work most days. Here’s a video of a particularly nice part of the commute along the Moscow River.
Here’s Jerome on the slackline at the climbing gym. He was Belgian/Canadian. Nice guy. Good climber.
This is Brodey. We had a lot of fun. He was a fellow cyclist in the city and took part in Movember with some gnar handlebars. I swear we usually drank beer together. This was a weird night at a Tiki Bar.
I’d write fridge poetry when the moment struck. I was proud of this one.
I would bike around and take pictures of stuff…like bikes.
The sky looked like this sometimes and I questioned biking…
- Then these two invited a big group of friends from the Eramus Mundus Association to Alicante, Spain. Good people. Fun times. (Luca and Charlie got married the next year in the same town. I wish I saw them all more often.)
Rally in cow valley!
Road trip from Barcelona to Alicante with Gulcin!
One of the funniest guys I know—Cornelius of Kenyan extraction.
Pavan with his new scarf someone got for his birthday.
Everything went pear-shaped when my brother called to say dad didn’t wake up. This was probably the last picture before I got that call at about 11 p.m.
Built dad a cremation casket and said our goodbyes.
And on went the circle of life with little Phoebe in the world, my brother’s second daughter.