sO my friend’s dog died and she lives in new york city and so she had to take it to the vet by the subway and she put the dead dog in the suitcase on the subway and it was a pretty big dog and some dude saw that she was struggling with the suitcase so he asked if she needed help with it and he said do you mind me asking what’s in it and she didnt want to say a dead dog so shE SAID IT WAS A BUNCH OF LAPTOPS SO HE TOOK THE SUITCASE AND RAN AND I JUST
Well, this is it, pancit. I’m out of Russia, and in a few hours, I’ll be home.
It feels very strange. I’m not as excited as I would be had I been sent home 2 days after arriving in Russia. I’ve grown to love the people, the country, the language. I mean, it’s great to be going home, seeing family, being with friends, but there’s a certain postpartum depression after long periods of travel. Well, maybe not depression. Just a strange period, a time of being in limbo, a time when I just feel like I’m floating in the space of transition between two very different points in life.
The last time I felt this was when I got home from Mongolia, and that was only a two-week trip. I was just immersed in land of different culture, weather, food, everything, and then when I got home to Manila, it was just weird. It was a strange unshakeable feeling only soluble in the solvent of time.
And I have a strong feeling it’ll happen again.
But maybe not.
After Mongolia, there was just a few days when I wasn’t really doing anything. Coming home now, it’ll be family reunions, reunions with friends, then Ignite, then enrollment, then school. So maybe all these things could lessen the length of this transition period, like a pier shooting out of the bay, lunging out ready to receive boats instead of letting them bob around a bit more until they reach the shore.
This is the image in my head because I just watched Life of Pi in the airplane, and I loved how the old Pi said that life can be summed up to the act of letting go, and it’s when we don’t say goodbye that it is most painful. And so I’m writing this piece. My last DTTR. It’s my way of closing off this period in my life and it’s really just a time to process all my thoughts. (I also watched Warm Bodies. It’s pretty good.)
Before boarding, I also called up a few friends from Voronezh just to say bye. I was using a different sim so they didn’t know who I was. I called up Dasha and Anya, both times pretending to be our Egyptian friend. I love copying him, it’s really easy, and it’s my best impression for this whole trip. So my friends answered the phone, I told them I was the Egyptian guy and that I was leaving for Egypt. Dasha was shocked and sounded sad. Anya was just “Oh, okay.” Hahaha so I guess they’re not close. It’s just so funny when I tell them that it’s me and they’re like whaaaaat no waaaaay… For my other friend, I pretended to be an Indian AIESEC intern stranded in the train station in Voronezh, which was pretty risky because I was boarding a flight going to Qatar and there are A LOT of Indians there. So yeah, that was a pretty fun way to say goodbye.
Now. Things I learned/some thoughts:
1.) Being surrounded by giants is not so bad.
2.) Big Russian moms are your best defense against scammers.
3.) When I let my hair grow, it becomes wavy.
4.) People are people wherever you go.
5.) God’s the same God even in different churches in different countries, touching different lives and writing the best stories.
5.) Filipinos eat A LOT and I love it.
6.) The easiest way to be a celebrity is to be a foreigner guest/teacher in a school.
7.) Russians aren’t necessarily heavy drinkers.
8.) In a land full of white people, any Asian is a welcome sight for me. (Voronezh had very few foreigners compared to Moscow and St. Petersburg.)
9.) I can speak Russian confidently now and have casual conversations.
10.) A friend of a friend goes a long way during travel
11.) I don’t like traveling alone.
12.) I love to cook alone.
13.) I love the moment when people realize who you’re impersonating
14.) You can learn a lot about your own language and literature from foreigners studying it.
15.) I’ll be back.
Yeah. I’ll definitely be back. That’s why I didn’t feel bad that I wasn’t able to buy decent pasalubong for everyone. Hehe
So. Thanks Russia for letting me have a great time, buuut it’s good to come home. I’ll be back again someday. Kagda? Nye znayu. Posmotrim. Dlya seichas, dasvidanya i spasibo.
And hello Manila, my first love.