Monday, May 13, 2013

Interesting Russia Blogs

I have recently run across two blogs by expats that live or lived in Russia that you might want to check out if you are heading over there, or "going in," as Russians say. The first is, written by a young French businessman based in Moscow. He provides well-written posts on where to swim in the capital on summer weekends, and on travelling by train and the local trains called elektrichki, which serve many small towns across the country.
Did you know it is possible to travel all the way from Moscow to Petersburg using only these trains? It is, though you have to take five of the small trains. He recommends this type of travel as a good way to meet and mingle with ordinary Russians, and to see the countryside. He also recommends a Website if you are seeking a Moscow apartment, However, it seems to be only in Russian, a language in which the blog author is fluent --his English is pretty good, too. (Don't you hate people like that? LOL)
The other,, is written by a young American woman who taught English at the American Home ( in Vladimir, an ancient small city near Moscow, from 2005-06. It may be somewhat out of date, but it offers a good account of what it is like to teach English in a city that is not one of the main ones. While her experience overall seemed very positive, she does not gloss over the occasional hassle, like a drunk young man who followed her one night and would not take no for an answer. No one, including police, did anything to try to help her, but luckily she managed to escape.
Incidentally, the American Home might also be a good place to study Russian, especially if you want to avoid the big cities. They have various programs for both university-aged people and older learners, and the prices seem reasonable. Vladimir is a former Russian capital, with churches dating from the 12th century, and seems like a pleasant place. I was planning to add a picture from Vladimir to this post, but blogger has changed and it no longer seems to be possible to add images from your computer. I will try to figure out the new system and add it soon.


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