As several of you have heard, on Friday my host mom left for Sochi until the New Year and left me with her cat, who will henceforth be called “Lucifer,” or possibly “Spoiled Brat” when I’m feeling kind.
Heretofore I thought Richard was funny and charismatic, but I suppose that’s generally the textbook first impression of an utter narcissist. Not only does Richard like to whine at 12:30am and 6:30am at my door, he also likes to claw my feet, spill the food I’m pouring in his dish, THROW UP THE FOOD I BOUGHT HIM ON THE KITCHEN FLOOR when he’s run out of his homemade chicken, and relieve himself literally three inches from his litterbox. Really, cat. Get it together.
I know this is typical cat behavior, and it probably sounds like I’m being far too harsh on him. But these are also reasons why I don’t have any pets in the States. Besides, my friend from Taiwan was saying that a cat’s sleeping position on your bed indicates how much respect he holds for you. If he stays at your feet, he views you as his superior, etc. etc. Considering Richard tried to sleep on my chest (enter stage right my Babushka’s fear of grandchild-being-asphyxiated-by-cat-phobia), I think we all get the idea of how spoiled rotten he is.
However, I can’t complain. Now I have a new housemate, who graduated from the Pedagogical Uni here last year and speaks English and Russian (she understands my position and therefore speaks slowly and clearly and is generally awesome).
I am still having difficulties with the bank, which is royally unpleasant. When neither the Russian bank nor the American bank knows the special (and absolutely necessary) code for an international wire transfer, what is one supposed to do? I’m twenty. I only speak enough Russian to just get through the рынок without dying of a panic-induced heart attack. And even in English I’m definitely not an accounting expert.
To top off the emotional-logistical roller coaster that is the second week in a foreign country, the security alarm in my apartment was going off when I returned 40 minutes ago (at around 3:45pm). I figured, “Ah, screw it. I can’t figure out how to turn it off, and it’s probably just telling me someone left a message at the door while I was gone. I’ll just wait for my roommate to come back and she’ll probably know what to do.” No sooner had I put on my PJs and gotten a piece of toast did I hear car doors outside. It’s probably a good thing I looked out the window, too, because the police had just shown up.
Knowing in my heart of hearts that it was definitely, definitely for my apartment, I hastily made myself more decent and waited for the inevitable ring of the doorbell. Everything was fine—they were pretty young and surprisingly nice, considering the reputation Russian police officers have; they didn’t try any funny business with my passport when I told them I was foreign (because I had to; how else am I supposed to explain the fact that I have a three-year-old’s vocabulary? And that’s being cruel to the three-year-old), and turned off the buzzer for me.
Definitely more pleasant than the buterbrod I had last Thursday, which had an entire pork tongue sitting on top of it. I’m not very picky when it comes to food, but at 6:45 in the morning, it was a bit much. But I refuse to be excessively stressed about any of these things (except possibly the bank. I shake my fist at you). I think this is just the way acclimatization goes. At least in Russia. I mean, with the tongues and police and all.