Like joining the Rockettes or becoming a plastic surgeon, living in Russia is not for the faint-hearted. All I wanted to do after college was move to Moscow. I have now gotten my wish...twice! This time we're moving with two babies (and two cats, but they've been there before, and for them, it's like going home, sort of, since they are from Almaty, Kazakhstan, which isn't exactly Moscow, but that's another story, for a future blog.)
(Speaking of said blog, this will be an attempt to write a little bit, everyday if possible, about life, travel, photography, language, babies, being a mom, being an expatriate, being a closet artist on the run. With such a narrowly-focused blog, I may run out of things to say. But I hope not.)
So what do you do when you are moving to Moscow? Pack a bikini? No. Eat as much Thai food as possible before going? Yes. They do Thai food better in the US than in Russia. Take your plastic bust of Lenin along? Not necessary. You can still find them on the black market. Pack everything in Ziploc bags and hope for the best? Sure.
Don't forget your almond butter, Crayola twistable crayons, and your Old Navy favorites. Everything else can potentially be found, at a price. Soba noodles? Check. German laundry detergent? Overpriced Hello Kitty items? Check and check. H&M? Yes. Ikea is also well-ensconced in and around Moscow, as is Belgian bakery Le Pain Quotidien, I have recently learned. Oh yes, and those old North Face double-waterproofed boots will come in handy for 7 months of the year at least.
But how do you mentally prepare for a move to Moscow? With kids and cats and household, it's just survival day by day no matter where you are. So just grimace through the rough parts and enjoy the rest. Mom Voyage!