Imagine a country where you can travel from the Black Sea to the Pacific Ocean without crossing a single border. A country where you can travel 9,285 km while speaking the same language. A country that traverses both Europe and Asia. Such a country exists: Russia. This is my experience there. Not love at first sightThis jumped out at me when I arrived in Moscow in September 2016. I came here for an exchange program at the Moscow Architectural Institute (Markhi) for a whole year. I had never been to Russia before, and I didn’t speak Russian at all.
I lived the whole year in a traditional Russian obshchezhitye, which is basically the kind of dormitory that you can probably find on the campus of universities everyone. But in this case you have to imagine an old room feels like it has changed little since the 1960s. I was emotionally touched by the idea that several generations of Russians and Soviets had shared this room, and now it had become mine! (Read more….)