Train ticket to Toronto: Check.
Flight to Moscow: Check.
Suitcase full of gifts: Check.
Last $10 To My Name: Check
It appears I am ready to head back to the motherland (well, not my motherland but it's catchy) for who-knows-how-long this time.
It's a little bitter-sweet leaving family and home behind, again, but at least this time I know what I'm getting myself into. The rather intense reverse-culture shock that I experienced when I returned to Canada has long since worn off and I have enjoyed the past month or so, particularly hanging out with my siblings.
Last night one of my sisters and I joined my brother and 8 of his guy friends for a night of drinking at a trashy dive of a bar in Ottawa's Little Italy district. Following several shots of Moscovskaya Vodka (even here I can't escape it!!!) we proceeded to down pitcher after pitcher of beer. There were three hockey games on and the Phillies-Giants baseball game, and after 4 or 5 hours of steady drinking we were all sufficiently inebriated to not notice the $350 bar tab we had run up. Oh well. Good times never came cheap.
I'm off to Russia again where, despite my strong love of Moscow and the Russian people, I will miss being surrounded by English and, surprisingly, I'll miss TV here. I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do I love some of the programming, particularly the culture that revolves around CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. It reminds me of evenings cuddled warmly in my house sipping on drinks while the snow falls past street lights outside. Workplace conversations revolve around "the game". Complete strangers at Tim Horton's will begin discussing it when waiting in line. Won't see any of that in Russia.
So, once again, adieux, Canada. One day I will return to your snug, comfortable, hockey-crazed beer-loving free-health-care embrace. For the time being I'm off to drink vodka, stammer away in a language I can barely pronounce, lose hair to the polluted rainfall and dodge insane drivers and furious old ladies.
Masochistic Love of Russia: Check
Voluptuous women, pollution, and furious old ladies are eagerly awaiting your return to a Luzhkov-less Moscow! You'll be back in a country like no other. Welcome!