Monday, September 2, 2013

First World Problems

It has been fun being here and seeing the way things are set up and done in St Pete's. The difference of culture, what goes on in the home...everything. Some of it is interesting and some of it reminds me that I'm from America, and have "First World" problems. Here are some things I've noticed.

Trash cans.
In my host grandparents apartment, I have only seen one trash can (the same with my host family's as well.) The can is very small, located right under the kitchen sink. For me it is annoying not to have one in the bathroom or in my room. Right now I've just been using a small zip-lock bag. But I wonder why there is a lack of trash cans. On the streets they have them, but they are very small (about 2 feet high), and often full.

The bathroom.
At my host grandparents apartment, as well my host family's apartment, they have only one toilet for the entire apartment. It is in a *very* small room, and located next to it in another room is the bath tub, sink, ect. Having only one bathroom is not to bad, but definitely different from having three bathrooms in my house in the U.S.

Kitchen tables.
I was going to say "dining room tables", but the tables are always right in the kitchens--which are also very "cozy", if you will. The table in my apartment is about 3 feet across, and we sit on stools without any backs or arm rests. Last night I ate at my host family's apartment. I ate with the two kids, then after we were done the mom was able to sit down and eat. Very different from giant American tables.

Russians (as well as most of Europe) walk a ton. It always take a chunk of time to get any where it seems! I specifically am not used to walking everywhere I need to be, and even if I have to take the metro somewhere, it will take me about 30 minutes to walk to the station. Not that I don't enjoy walking. I do! In fact, it will surely get me in great shape. I specifically love walking in the crisp morning. But it has made me realize how much driving I personally did at home, and how much less walking I did!

Oh yes, the elevators. To me they either smell of cat food or other strange smells. They are cramped as well, barely fitting about four people (or five if you really wanted to push the limit.) I'm always scared of one breaking down and me getting stuck. My worry is probably fed from the constant creaking and shaking noises when you go up or down, and the outside condition of the elevator as well (which is not very pretty looking.)

To end this post, I want you all to know that while it seems like I am complaining about the above statements, I am just trying to inform you of differences I've seen; and that while some of it is annoying sometimes, I find a lot of it humorous.

I am enjoying my time here. Teaching yesterday went alright (some of it was stressful.) There were a few things that were unclear and since we have no experience doing this it definitely is going to take time and practice. Getting down the method and getting through to the kids is my main goal. Wish me luck!

Miss you all,


  1. I'm sure all of that will make you appreciate your 'first world' stuff at home even more. Either that or realize that here in America we do almost everything to an unnecessary excess. Love you, good luck teaching tomorrow!

  2. Test comment to help Grandma Rogers learn how to comment on your blog. :)