It's strange how much light fills this country. When I came here in the dead of winter, I went quite a few weeks without sunshine. The cold, the gray, the ever-nights felt like they were swallowing me whole. I was Jonah in the whale. I never knew the time, the day. I felt turned, I didn't know which way was up, which way was down. There was just snow and black skies. And how odd that they are all now light?
In St. Petersburg it's the White-Night season. I've heard it's all quite romantic up there.
Anyway, our sun kissed home has been filled with frantic emails, skype interviews, and long kitchen talks and bottles of wine. But decisions have been made. Decisions I feel comfortable standing next to.
Ben and I have decided to stay in Russia.
When we were offered our second contract (which, up until a month ago, we had our fingers and toes crossed for), we immediately began to see dollar signs and other countries. We forgot about why we had really come here and it all felt very rushed. When we sat down and began to think about it all, we realized that we did not come to Russia to make lots of money. We had come here to learn Russia, live in another country, live in a big city, have an adventure.
And to leave it all right when we had just felt comfortable here? After we had made friends, learned new words, knew where all the cool places were... well, it just wasn't sitting right.
There have been some opportunities to make a bit more money here in Moscow, but we have decided against many of them. We are still waiting on some reach-jobs, but we feel that our current job situation is so good, why would we change it for an extra thousand bucks? We love our boss, we love our students, we know what we're doing... money isn't everything. And we make enough. Really, with our new contract, we'll make more than most of our friends back home. I think we just needed to take some time and put things into perspective. It's a nice feeling.
So, the small apartment we stay. But it's good; exciting things are still on the horizon. Our Germany trip is creeping up and plans to meet my parents in Amsterdam for Christmas and New Years are falling into place. And if Ben and I save well, we may even afford to meet some of our friends from the states in Thailand.
A lot of happiness. A lot of sunshine.