Arrivederci Italia, привет россия
Exciting news! After two years living in Italy, I am leaving. but where am I going?
Moscow! From hot and sunny southern Italy to cold and snowy Moscow. What, where, why?
Time for a change
I’ve spent two years here, and I need a change. Brindisi is a pleasant enough place to live but it is small and I’m looking forward to the opportunities available in a big city. I will be living on the very edge of Moscow. It will take a bus and a metro to get into the centre, but it will still be a very different experience.
One of the biggest attractions for living in Italy is the glut of possibilities for travel. I’ve made a respectable attempt to visit as much of Italy as I can, and while Italy is a big diverse country, there aren’t many places left that I am desperate to visit. I would like to tour Sicily in particular, but I have explored most of the big cities and seen the majority of the must-see sights.
I went to Russia about six years ago, but I only managed to visit Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. I loved Saint-Petersburg in particular, and there are a lot of interesting places not too far from Moscow, full of old towns, traditional wooden churches and more. It’s re-energising to be going somewhere with a lot more new places to visit.
A big reason for moving to Russia, is that I’ve been learning Russian for the last few months. I never got to grips with Italian, and found it a very boring language to learn. I’m definitely better at teaching languages than learning them, but Italian in particular never excited me. Learning Chinese was fascinating and made me question the nature of language. Learning Italian made me question the point of learning a language. I could never get the basic grammar to stick in my head, and I never fell in love with any aspect of the language.
Russian on the other hand does interest me. Like Italian it has more complicated grammar than English, which is a double edged sword. As a language teacher the challenge is an attraction but as a student it is off-putting. The script is quite attractive to me, and I have slowly gotten to grips with the alphabet. I do read Russian incredibly slowly however, having to sound out every letter. I hope I get faster.
I am trying to learn new Russian words every day and I have words that I am unreasonably fond of, something that also happened for me in Chinese, but not in Italian. For example снег, (snyeg) means snow, бабочка (babachka) means butterfly and черника (chernika) which means blueberry.
This is also my first time learning a language after teaching absolute beginners, and I feel like it has really helped me. Foreign language teachers are encouraged to learn a language to improve their teaching, but for me I feel the reverse has definitely been strong for me. Building some students’ English from zero to being able to have a conversation, has given me a new understanding.
I will be spending the summer in England while I wait for the work visa, and move to Moscow in late August, and look for a place to live. Keep coming back to my blog, and I’ll try to keep you updated.