Two new teachers are arriving this week; I have had to move out of my apartment to accommodate one of them, and I will be sharing with the other back in the old apartment where I started!  While I do prefer living alone, it will be helpful to have someone to share the costs of wi-fi – assuming it ever starts working.  I have been here 2 days already and still have no wi-fi access.  I am glad I left it late on Sunday night before moving!

The school told me about the move a week or two ago so I knew it was coming and had a bit more notice than the last time.  They also gave me the apartment key ahead of time so I could move in at my leisure rather than trying to move everything at once.  They did offer to pay for a taxi, but that would have meant moving everything down one set of stairs and up another and only having a limited number of suitcases and bags to put things on.  In the end I took my big purple suitcase backwards and forward on the trolleybus and made it in 4 trips, starting on Saturday evening and finishing late Sunday night.  They all went smoothly except the final trip on a late night bus in which, despite me being the only passenger on the bus, the conductor charged me for an extra ticket for the suitcase!!!  I took a photo of her to internet-shame her.  I would have loved to have an argument but my Russian is not yet advanced enough.

Corrupt conductor/extortionist

Edward had really pushed the boat out cleaning the apartment ready for me – that gave me a clue that they were intending to move the other new student, Wesley, into the same apartment – even though John’s flat – where Ale was living – is more central, and John is more experienced, sociable and closer to Wesley’s age.   But it’s not for me to make these decisions…

The most stressful moment of the week was Edward’s inspection – he is always chivvying me to be tidy and neat and clean, and I had to get the apartment shipshape on a school night, so I mopped all the floors (well, most of them, I gave up on the sitting room); cleaned the bathroom, cleaned the stove, and tidied away all my mess and detritus.  He arrived on the Wednesday morning, chattering away in Russian about who knows what, but he did eventually give me the nod of approval.

Improved kitchen – I moved the dead fridge and microwave to make more space

I’m sad to leave Voroshilovskiy, and its plethora of useful little local shops, I’ll be doing most of my shopping at Pyramida now.  I have fewer shots at finding somewhere with the right sized onions, and perfect red peppers.  Of course I will save money on travel, I can now walk to either Voroshilovskiy office or Central office in about 20 minutes so I will only need to use the trolleybuses to get between offices (for which I am recompensed anyway).  I won’t see the little cat that sometimes welcomed me home – he actually spent one night sleeping on a mat outside my door, and left most of his fur behind on it!  Probably a good thing I didn’t let him in the flat – Edward would not have approved.

Building the cafe bars

It has been a crazy week for weather, last week started with winter’s last stand depositing a fresh shroud of snow, which the sun saw as a challenge, and promptly melted.  Yesterday I needed sunglasses, it was so warm and sunny, and today we had a rainstorm that flooded the streets again.  In between there has been a fierce wind whipping up dust from the streets and bombarding unprotected faces and eyes.  They are starting to rebuild the outside seating areas of the cafes and bars, so Spring weather is definitely on the way.

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