Sunday, January 30, 2005

I was very relieved - if not happy - to leave Moscow at the end of 2002. I was too devastated by what had happened that October - and I still am: the Nord-Ost hostage horror. I was sick of Moscow then. At least this is how I remember it now.

St. Pete is two different cities - in summer, it's one of the most amazing places I've ever been to, but beginning late September, it's the gloomiest thing in the world. The contrast is just too shocking - like nowhere else I've been to. So I'm glad we're leaving now, not in June or July. I almost don't care now.

One thing I keep imagining is how I'm gonna miss St. Pete in a few months - something that seems impossible now. But I know I will.

For me, a love-hate relationship with big cities is the only one possible. Istanbul is an exception - but I've only been there as a tourist. Kyiv is another exception: I love the city as people often love their relatives, infinitely and unconditionally, but after a while I always need to move on, to escape - and somehow I always do...

One thing I love about living in Russia is that it's so close to Ukraine. My worst memory of the one-plus-two years that I spent in the States is not having been able to go back home, not once, either because I couldn't afford it, or because I was scared I wouldn't be tough enough to get up and leave again. I used to have a recurring nightmare in which I'd be in Kyiv, for just a few hours, all my homework and deadlines waiting for me back in the States, and I'd be running around, trying to see everyone and ending up in stupid hi-bye situations...

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