Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Small Victories

Kristen says...

Sometimes I need a reminder about why I want to live this lifestyle.

You know, besides just waking up in the morning and realizing living in another country is actually pretty exciting. :)

I was feeling a little down this morning...I got up when Chris left for work, checked my e-mails and found out one of my favorite people in the world is moving to Des Moines! This, of course, makes me so, so happy...except now I have another friend there while I am here!

 Next I walked on the treadmill, something that would ruin any day!

Then I talked to my sister and two nephews, which in itself isn't depression-inducing, but it did make me see all the fun things I was missing out on (the temperature was in the 90s in Iowa today, and there were water tables to play with!)

We will also "celebrate" the 4-month anniversary of our arrival in Russia this week, with no return trip to the States planned in the near future. 

All that, coupled with missing Mother's Day and a family wedding this past weekend, plus the upcoming Memorial Day, a traditionally-family full day was getting me kind of down.

Anyway, Pip needed to go to the vet to get an annual vaccination, and Chris didn't drive to work today, so I decided to take Pip to the vet. Not only did I successfully drive alone through Vladivostok for the first time ever, I was able to get across what I needed with the minimum of problems. Yay.

But that is not what actually lifted my spirits.

After the vet I decided I needed some cookies (we have found these amazing butter cookies with chocolate glaze here...soooooo delicious!) so I stopped off at the grocery store.

After I'd grabbed some Diet Pepsi and cookies (the essentials, you know!) I was walking toward the milk section when a woman walked up to me and asked if I could help her. In English. 

Surprised, I said yes.

Then she asked, "Do you speak English?"

Of course, I said, "Yes."

Next, "Do you speak Russian?"

Ah. "Yes, a little."

Basically she needed help identifying an item in the deli case, and the woman behind the counter didn't understand what she wanted.

So, I helped.

I asked the understanding and patient woman behind the counter if the food was fish (it was), if it was salted (it was), and if it needed to be cooked (it didn't).

I only had to look up one word during the exchange, which I thought was a good thing.

Turns out the woman was Chinese but had studied English in Canada...what she was doing here I don't know, but I do know that she made my day, because she asked me to help, and I was able to.

And that is why I am here. I very highly doubt that experience could have been had in Des Moines, Iowa (if for no other reason than I would not have learned any Russian if I was still living in Des Moines!)

I miss my family and my friends every minute of every day, but I really treasure the experiences I'm having here, too...which is the point of it all, really.



  1. We miss you Kristen, but I'm glad you're finding ways to treasure your experience. We're really only a Skype or email away. And maybe someday a phone call. I'm very proud of your courage to be so adventuresome! Love you! Mom

  2. Hang in there! You’re just far enough into your adventure where the excitement of the beginning is fading but end is not yet in sight. Your friends miss you too! We'll still be here when you get back :-)


We love reading your comments about our crazy adventures!