September 2008

I just today connected ‘siberian tiger’ and ‘siberia, russia’ in my head.  I am moving to a country that has wild TIGERS roaming in the woods?  This is both awesome and extremely terrifying.  I am worried about tigers killing me while I am walking in downtown Madison, but then I always tell myself that I am being ridiculous.  This will no longer be as strong of a consolation.  True, I won’t be in Siberia, but I will know that I live in the same country where this is theoretically possible:


Maps rock.  They tell you so much about where you are, how to get where you need to be, what to expect along the way.  I love them.  This post is dedicated to maps.



Here you see THE WORLD.  It’s color coded to show where visas are necessary for US passport holders before arrival (RED), where you can get a visa upon arrival (light GREEN) and where you don’t need a visa AT ALL (dark GREEN).  Oh, and then they didn’t want the US to feel left out so they made us BLUE.  See RUSSIA?  You know, the largest blob on earth?  That huge RED mass?  Yeah, I have to get a visa prior to departure, so it’s going to be a while (the process will be explained in a later post), probably 4-8 weeks.

If you could count up all of the dark and light green countries, there are 187 of them.  So basically, A LOT of them.  South Korea?  Dark Green.  That’s why they expected me to up and leave so quickly!  I get it!

Next let’s zoom in on that pretty blue.  Only, upon further inspection, it’s not just blue!  It’s many colors now, to show the jurisdictional territories of the Russian Federation Consulates.

If you can ignore the colors of the stars, each color group is under the jurisdiction of the consulate in the city with the star in each color (mouthfull!).  As you can see in this map, Wisconsin is under the jurisdiction of the consulate in Seattle.  So, if I elect to present my documents in person I have to go to Seattle.  And that would be just amazingpleaseletmedoit awful, expensive and time consuming.

If you want to mail in your documents, you must send them to Washington, D.C., through a third party company.  I don’t really want to do this because ilovepatsybrianmaddyandfriendsandseattle I don’t trust my passport and other important documents in the mail, I didn’t even trust it when I thought I was sending them directly to the consulate, much less now when I have to send them through a third party.

Finally, here is a map of St. Petersburg.  You can see how the city might be called ‘The Venice of the North’, with all of it’s canals and western European style buildings.

I am all map happy and excited, can you tell?

Yeah, most of you probably heard on my other blog, but Language Link in Russia offered me a job this morning in…. wait for it……

ST. PETERSBURG!  Yes, my very favorite choice since people started asking in August.  Leningrad, Anastasia, cold cold winters only hours from Finland.  Still trying to figure out what I am going to do though.

I had a GREAT interview with CDI in  S. Korea and the recruiting office said that I am an ideal candidate…. which I thought ment that I was being offered a job.  What it really meant was I was now able to fill out more forms and write an essay to try and be hired.  Sigh.  I think I might love you, St. Petersburg.  Seriously, wouldn’t that be sweet?!



I missed the interview on Monday because Language Link didn’t specify that they were going to call me at 11am in Moscow, so I assumed that they would be calling at 11am CST.  They emailed me and set up the interview for the next day.

This morning, at 1:45am, I left my house in the ghetto and drove to the chocolate shop to wait for the phone to ring.  I know this is a strange experience, standing around in a darkened chocolate store, waiting for someone in Russia to call.  Pacing behind the counter gripping the cordless phone, fearful that any mintue the cops were going to show up and mistakenly think that I was robbing the store.  The parking lot was eerily quiet, my car door slammed and echoed off the buildings like a bomb going off.  I was jumpy and tired and kind of pissed off that I agreed to do this.

The interview did NOT go well.  I couldn’t remember what the present perfect tense was ( like ‘I have walked’, I remember now, of course.) and I just couldn’t come up with real reasons why I wanted to go Russia, what would be the greatest challenge there, how I would stop teenagers from using their cell phones in class, basically nothing.  I cannot make stuff up, at all, much less quickly, at 2am.  Now I know.

I have two interviews this week.  One with a company called “Language Link” in Russia tomorrow morning, the other with a large agency in South Korea on Friday afternoon.

I have decided that I am moving my available start date into October.  I can’t live week to week anymore.  I plan things.  It’s what I do.  This past month I have had to repress this natural tendancy and skill and it has driven me nuts.  So I am giving myself a couple weeks to take control of my life again for a while.

Is FRUSTRATION.  It’s the word of the day, the word of the week, the word that fills my soul if I stop to think about how my soul feels.  I want to go ‘all office space’ on something expensive, pull all my hair out, scream at someone, then eat a pint of moose tracks in my pajamas in a small dark room while watching romantic comedies.

I actually want to avoid social interaction because that is the only way to avoid the question that fuels my favorite word, the question that makes me want to slowly pull my toenails off or chew on some aluminum foil.

HAVE YOU HEARD ANYTHING YET? or ANY NEWS? or any variation of that question.

It’s nice of people to be concerned, but I keep telling everyone: YOU. WILL. KNOW. WHEN. I. KNOW. The whole world will know the instant that I do, so don’t ask.  If you don’t know, that means I don’t know.  As unbelievable as it may seem that I don’t know yet, I KNOW!  and i agree.  But, step off for a minute or two, ok?  Thanks.

Did you know that Russia is NINE hours ahead of us here in the midwest?  Nine.  So that puts their workday somwhere between 11PM and 8AM here.  That is gross.  I recruited the Adults In My Life to help me find a land line on which Russia could call me.  My former boss, Laurie, came through for me by giving me free reign of the Chocolate shop again.  So, eventhough she really hopes that I don’t get a job overseas, so that she can keep me through the holidays, she is really helping me with the process.  Confusing!

Anyway, some of those AIML (adults in my life, come on, keep up) are now freaking out because of the ‘political unrest’ in Russia.  Pffft.  War, whatever.  I am kidding.  I will still do the interview, but I plan on asking them about the ‘unrest’ and how safe I would be.  Even if I turn down the job to save my own butt, having the interview would be a good learning experience for me, right?

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