I went to a new office on Tuesday. It was meant to be my day off but other teachers were ill and the International Department asked if I would be prepared to come in and cover. The catch was they weren’t sending me to my usual lessons in Sovetskiy, they wanted me to go to Spartanovka. This is basically the last stop before the bridge to Volzhsky, at the northern end of Volgograd.
Getting there turned out to be surprisingly easy. I checked the marshrutka numbers and one of them, the 8a goes right from outside my door, to right outside the Spartanovka office door (About 5 minutes away really, but in Volgograd that’s pretty good). It even had scheduled times – every 22 minutes, odd for a marshrutka. I went and stood at the bus stop and watched a few marshrutka with the wrong number trundle past, and then felt really really stupid as an 8a trolleybus trundled up. I instinctively knew this was the service I was waiting for and I had completely misread the information on Google Maps. The most plausible explanation is usually the correct one!
The 8a goes right down Raboche-Krestyanskaya street, until it turns into Prospekt Lenina, then continues down all the way past Mamayev Kurgan to the Tractor Factory. There Lenina turns into ulitsa Nikolei Otrady, and just after that name-change is Spartanovka. It is a very built up part of the city – probably the most build up outside the centre, though Dzherzhinsky and Voroshilovskiy also have many large buildings.
I popped into a tidy little supermarket before I headed for the office – I was impressed to see more recycling facilities outside. This is the first time I have seen something like this in Russia, after walking past the ones in Bromley every day for so many years.
I found the office very easily, and there sitting at the front desk was the American teacher, John! He was also teaching there this afternoon, though while I was only working until 6.45pm, he would be there until 9pm. Vika, the senior manager came out and showed me around the office, and sat me down at the computer where I could print my materials (I had been able to prepare them at home, so it was just a case of print and go). I had three lessons, all with school age students.
The room I was teaching in was great, it had London-themed decorations on the wall which really made me feel at home. Even the front desk windows wallpaper made me feel at home – it reminded me of my Facebook profile! It is a very nice little office – I hope I get the opportunity to teach there again, even if it is quite a distance to travel.