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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Moscow rules - Just one of those positive summer days!!!

You know how when you were 6 or 7 years old you admired some professions. For me it was Ballet. I still remember seeing the first ballet Giselle in Croatian theatre. I really admired the dancers, the way these ballerinas move, walk.... I dreamed I would become one or at least meet one. But as dreams change, during time, there were some other dreams that came in and the ballerina dream stayed a part of my childhood.

But now I feel like somebody had thrown me back 20 years. I actually met a real Ballerina. Seems so funny when I write it, but I really felt so excited seeing that, despite my horrible Russian, she also wants to hang out with me. It is amazing how some things you dreamt as a kid just disappear and then just a few reminders and you feel like six again.
So I met her when she was substituting my daughters ballet  teacher, we exchanged numbers and that is how little by little our Russian coffees started. So today was a huge day for me. She invited me to see a Bolshoi ballet main rehearsal. I don't know if she was more surprised or worried seeing me so excited. Just like a 6 year old. For me it was like making a dream come true for a kid in me, still hiding somewhere in the back. Just to see first row the performance, to come through foyer where they train, to sit at her make up table it was really the best day for my childhood dream.

And these are the things which make Moscow so thrilling, at any corner something new and exciting can happen. Moscow is so huge, if you are willing to open yourself and try to get out of expat communities and women clubs you actually meet great Russian people and some great Estonian, Moroccan gals, so open and friendly that after living here for four different seasons of one year I can surely say we belong.

There are still some things we don't know but learn on the way. I would never think that shoe sizes in Russia are different than Europe. If you are a 37 in Europe in Russia you are 36, So imagine me trying to ask for a wrong shoe size and at the same time wrongly saying in Russian I need bigger size (the seller actually understood that the ones I am trying are too big) so I had to learn it the hard way - after trying to fit into size 34 - better stop, think and ask. Not to become Cinderella's bad stepsister with cut off toes.

And then, like out of nowhere, the other day someone asked me - After nearly one year in Moscow which country and town do you actually call home? It was a valid question and, me being me, started answering without thinking. I think I confused him but after giving my answer for five minutes I came to a pretty fine conclusion. Home is everywhere you feel you have closest people living close to you. To tell you the truth this question took me so much by surprise, that for the last hour I am trying to remember who asked me this?!

Still don't remember even after proofreading this article and uploading photos. Hope it was not just a dream?!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Ordinary family in thrilling Moscow: Back to school?!

Ordinary family in thrilling Moscow: Back to school?!: You all know, especially the ones with school kids, it is end of the school year. So why the hell am i talking about back to school?!...

Back to school?!

You all know, especially the ones with school kids, it is end of the school year. So why the hell am i talking about back to school?! Well this year it was actually back to school for me.

I was one of the mothers who said i would never do homework with my kids. Ha, joke was on me. This year not just that my daughter started real school for the first time but it was in another country, in another system and in the language in which she could only say - how do you do.

First selection was done according to - which schools have additional english courses, so my 6 year old has assistance in learning the language in order to be able to follow curriculum.

The choice fell on English international school - west campus. And now, at the end of the year I can tell you it was the best possible choice. My daughter is not really open, but first day of school she just took the teachers hand and went into the class. My son on the other hand was mesmerised by his teacher. His group is called Pirates and still today he thinks that his teacher goes to his pirate boat in the evening and sails distant seas! And he constantly wants me to give him my necklace so he can bring the treasure to his pirate teacher.

The only problem there was - Me. First week my daughter came from school with math word problems. Oh horror. It is the thing that makes me look really dumb, like i don't know even how to spell my name when i see these tasks. But i had to show her its 'easy peasy'. So we sat down and started slowly. I pretended I don't understand a thing (actually not understanding a thing) and she taught me. It worked like a charm. So after full year of her teaching me i can say i grew over my fobia and can even perform all tasks she needs to know for school, with the help of google translate by my side!

The whole school environment helped a lot, since it is a small school, kids mingle with eachother, help eachother no mater which age or year they are. Unlike schools in croatia a lot is done to develop individual thinking, presenting, performing. The kids in the class do not feel they know more or less than others. They are rewarded for good choices they do. What i would do to have had same experience when I was kid. It would at least have helped me to have more courage and do things although they seemed undoable. I really believe they will be able to know what where to find and have the courage to say what they think. And in my opinion this is crucial for their happy future.