Time flies when you’re having fun! But everything comes to an end, also studying abroad. For me it seemed in the beginning that I had heaps of time and endless possibilities, but suddenly the tide turned and I’m running out of time. At the moment I’ve only got nine days left in Russia, so how to turn this last week into a decent goodbye and make it a last-week worthy week?
Finishing the to do list
Before I went to Russia I had the intention to go on a weekend trip to a dacha (a Russian cottage on the countryside) and to finish a great part of the Trans-Siberian Express. Well … these intentions were maybe a bit over presumptuous, still I made up for quite some things on my list. For instance I did experience a Russian barbecue, saw more military vehicles than I can count and had my share of vodka. But still there are some things left I’m trying to stuff into my last few days here now. Today I can already check off going to a traditional Russian banya. And yes, that’s the kind of sauna where they hit you with birch twigs and where you should wear a silly little hat. Nevertheless I came back feeling totally zen with the skin of a new born baby. Perfect to relax and prepare for the rest of my week. Because I still want to go and eat blinis (Russian pancakes) at my teachers home, have a traditional Russian dinner with friends and go to see Moscow. Oh, and pack my bags.
Saying goodbye to the friends
The last few days here probably also mean the last few days with the people who made this whole experience unforgettable. It’s incredible how easily you meet new people whilst living abroad. If I would have been a good and experienced traveller I would have thought of this when I was still in the Netherlands. And I would have brought little cute clogs key rings which I could give to my friends as a keepsake to our good times together. Anyhow, since I did not I’ll have to try to colour their memories with one last good evening. And no one ever said no to a good old farewell drink, especially not the Russians! So with no doubt this is going to be a wonderful last evening in my favourite bar in Perm which was like my second living room the time I’ve stayed here.
Buying proper souvenirs
I thought I might learn from the fact that I didn’t brought Dutch souvenirs for my Russian friends by bringing Russian souvenirs for my Dutch friends and family. And this time not try to forget about it all. They did regularly listen to my stories whilst I was living abroad. Stories which were sometimes just one big complaint about my poor living conditions or bureaucratic nightmares. So they deserve better than a sad souvenir bought at Sheremetyevo Airport. Therefore my mission will be to collect the last few souvenirs in my remaining days in Perm. And after that my mission will be to pack my suitcase including souvenirs without overreaching the 23kg limit. Wish me good luck 😉
By Evelijn Hillebrand