Just some random thoughts this time, here goes…
When you don’t speak the language and don’t have an iphone or television to distract you at all times you end up spending a lot more time observing your surroundings.
I wish I would have packed more. I packed really quickly (I don’t think I spent more than 30-45 minutes tops), in retrospect I packed more like I was going backpacking around Georgia rather than living in one place for three months. I have about one weeks worth of clothes, and I am pretty sure I am going to want to burn them all by the time I leave here. On the other hand I’ll have a better sense of what I should bring when I go to Tokyo in February.
It can be tough to tell what is a cultural difference and what is just someone’s personality. For example, is someone being standoffish because towards you because that is what is expected culturally in a certain situation, or is someone just being a prick. Or vice versa with someone being extra nice.
I really don’t think I have experienced anything like culture shock since I have been here (knock on wood).
At first I felt bad when my co-teacher would snap at the students, but then I had to teach a class of twenty five third graders and I started to see where she was coming from. Add in not speaking the students language and things can get chaotic pretty quickly.
It’s funny how something that is so foreign at first, becomes totally normal in a short period of time.
Life in the village is pretty quiet for the most part, I think the trick to not getting bummed out is finding a way to stay busy all day. I have a lot of free time as I am only teaching 3-4 hours a day.
Gender roles are waaaay different here. The women seem to do do 99.9% of all of the cooking and cleaning.
Families spend a lot more time with each other in Georgia. Everyone who is home in the evening in my host family spends the entire evening in the living room.
It seems like there are only about eight different commercials on TV here and they are starting to drive me nuts.
I can’t believe I have been gone for almost a month, I feel like this experience is going to be over before I know it.
There are constantly cows, chickens, turkeys, dogs and cats roaming the village.
People smoke everywhere here. It is like Mad Men. I am definitely lucky that no one in my host family, I wonder if it is because they are dentists.
San Diego wussified me when it comes to cold weather.
Not knowing the language is the most frustrating when I am trying to figure out public transportation. Doubly so when I am hungover.
I probably said this before but Georgians take hospitality on a whole other level.
A cab ride that would be $80 in the U.S. is the equivalent of about $15 here. But definitely make sure you have the exact amount because they are shady when it comes to giving change.
People assume that you are Russian when they realize that you are foreign, and will try and speak to you in Russian. Nyet.
Facebook is huge here, so is the Russian version of Facebook.
I don’t know what it is like in other families but my host family is definitely interested in learning English. My host mom has an English textbook out almost every night.
That’s all I’ve got for now, here is a bunch of pictures…
I have been doing a good amount of sketching lately, here are a few drawings that are pretty much finished: