Uncertainty / Неизвестность
It’s coming up. Only 9 days left. Nine. Devyat’.
Bozhe moy! It’s so soon.
I find myself gathering my things, the information I need, everything. I just printed out the information on checked baggage for all the airlines I’ll be taking this trip—both to and from. I haven’t really started officially packing, but that will be starting tomorrow.
For the record, I leave August 31st from Miami. From there, I will be going to Paris. Then it’s Paris to Moscow, Moscow to Krasnoyarsk. The whole trip will take over 29 hours, layovers included. Ugh. Oh well, it’s well worth it, I think. The way back is crazier: on June 20th, 2012, I will be flying from Krasnoyarsk to St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg to Paris, Paris to Detroit, Detroit to Miami.
As the time of my departure nears, I become more excited, but also more uncertain. The other night I was out with one of my good Russian-speaking friends, Olga. We went to a Russian restaurant and nightclub in Hollywood called Tatiana. Everyone was speaking Russian and I got a little taste of what it will be like. We were waiting for the nightly show to start. I was sitting at the bar with my friend when two women approached me and asked me what we were drinking. A little startled, I responded in English.
“Oh, you’re not Russian?” one of them asked.
Startled again, I managed to stutter out some Russian. “Nyet, nyet, ya govoryu po-russki.” ["No, no, I speak Russian."]
From there we started to chat. They asked me how long I’ve lived in the United States. That made me smile. It’s not the first time I’ve been asked that. Apparently my accent is convincing. Anyway, I told them that I am amerikanka, khotya ya russkaya po proiskhozhdeniyu [an American of Russian descent] and that I was going to Russia soon for the first time to live there for 10 months.
Their eyes widened. “Zachem?!?” ["What for?!?"] They looked at Olga. Olga smiled. “Ona khochet.” ["She wants to."]
In English they warned me, “Make sure you maintain common sense. If you have any, you’ll quit and leave. If you don’t, however, make sure you don’t trust anyone.”
That saddened me. Why? Why is it so bad that I want to return to my roots? And surely there will be someone there who I will be able to trust? I understand the need for caution and to not just trust anyone, but what about the connections I have over there already? My purpose is to go teach and make connections, build friendships. Surely both of those include some sort of trust. With that thought firmly in mind, I resolved not to lose my ability to trust where it is prudent.
But it also made me wonder what to expect. There were too many questions in my mind to even type out here, I’d be up all night.
These expectations go two ways, however. There is the expectations regarding my life there. Obviously I know next to nothing of what to expect. But there are also those related to my life back here in the United States. What will change here? What will happen to my family and friends while I am gone? What will I miss while I’m away?
There is no denying it: I worry about what will happen. What is next, moyi druz’ya?
Tol’ko Bog znayet. Only G-d knows. Only time will tell.