As September comes to a (snowy) close, I’m getting into a somewhat reflective mood. Also, in preparing for my Fulbright/move to Russia, I found these sorts of lists really helpful.
So without further ado, I wish I’d known…
- to bring my HIV test results, for my visa extension application. I know I can get it re-done here, but it would have been easier to just bring my original test with me.
- to bring passport photos, for the same reason as the HIV test results.
- not to bring sweaters. Because it may be cold outside, but inside it’s so hot I literally sweat in a short sleeved oxford shirt. So cardigans are a good idea, but anything meant to be worn continually throughout the day… not so much.
- that printed photographs would make me really happy, and I should bring more than 10.
- that it actually really isn’t a faux pas to repeat your outfit 3 times in 10 days, therefore half of the clothes I brought are probably unnecessary.
- that water here is really hard, and heating here is really drying, and I probably should have brought more lotion.
- that everything I need for my classes will be available to me here, both materials-wise and emotional/informational-preparation-wise: no need to stress out about them beforehand.
- that you can in fact buy fresh produce in Ukhta (at least through the end of September). All the same, no leafy greens to be seen.
- that bringing an unlocked cell phone is only useful if said cell phone has a Russian keyboard enabled, and that’s not guaranteed.
- that if I ever want a smartphone, the time is now, because you can get 1GB of data and unlimited calls/texts in network for 90 rubles/$1.50 per month.