Feb 8, 2011

Жди меня - я вернусь. (4/6)

I'm returning to Russia.

This trip will take me far from my old home in Irkutsk which, oddly enough, will take me much closer to home. I'm teaching English in the city of Maikop, in the Republic of Adygea, located in the fertile, warm, less mountainous part of Caucasus region. This position arose from the tireless efforts of my Bowdoin Russian professor, and the equally tireless efforts of countless Russian bureaucrats.

I realize that you readers may have a few associations with the Caucasus, particularly my concerned parents, so I'll take this opportunity to address them head-on. Yes it's beautiful there, but it's also economically significant, thanks to its rich soils and temperate climate. No, you can't always ski there, but it is the site of the 2014 Olympic Games (in Sochi). Yes, the Caucasus figures prominently in the works and lives of many great Russian writers, including Pushkin, Lermontov, and Tolstoy.

Now that that's settled, a little on my life there. As far as 'recurring themes' go, you can expect lots of insight into dormitory living, Russian-style. I don't know much about it, other than it will surely be distinct from American-style. There are actually a lot of things I don't know about this job - what I'll be teaching, how often, how I'll be living, where I'll be eating, what I'll be paid - but I am slowly gathering these details before Monday when I depart. I've written several emails on these points over the past four months, and once the weight of my questions finally overwhelmed the dean at the university, she sent this long-overdue elucidation:


"Уважаемый Джозеф!
Рада что Вы получили приглашение. Мы постараемся встретить Вас в Краснодаре. Жить Вы будите [sic] в общежитии 3."
"Dear Joseph!
I'm glad you received your invitation. We will try to meet you in Krasnodar. You will be living in dormitory 3."


Then, she gave me a list of documents they needed from me, including proof of current employment (quit my job to go to Russia) and a copy of my diploma (lost it).

So there you have it. I hope you'll learn as much about Maikop and the Caucasus as I hoped you learned about Irkutsk and Siberia.

My last task is getting there.


Annie said...

Really, are all these links necessary?

Elena said...

Who cares if the verb быть is first or second conjugation? Does it really matter if you can get your meaning across?

Iosif Markovich said...

Ha! Somehow that one got past me, Elena. Very strange, I do wonder who actually wrote that letter.