Dec 12 2010

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there and back

I came back from my trip Home to Russia last Sunday.  Between time change, getting back into everyday routine and being away from my parents again, it took a while for me to adjust back.  To say that I had an amazing trip is an understatement of the year.   It was absolutely wonderful to see my parents and grandmom “for real” vs. through Skype, to talk to them without time limit, and to simply hug them (there was a lot of that).

Finally together

Three generations

Some highlights of the trip

* the flight from New York to Moscow was an hour late leaving New York, which cut my transfer to Arkhangelsk’s flight to 55 minutes.  Now, subtract the time for getting out of the plane, get through the customs, pick up luggage, and you get one crazy person running through the airport with 8 lb carry on and 12 lb suitcase (good thing there were both with whiles).  I ended up taking all the bags with me to the gate because luggage check in already ended.  After all it did not really matter cause I got to see my parents waiting for me at the airport gate!

* It was cold, really really cold.  I forgot how cold it gets.   The day I got there it was 0F, then it got gradually colder to -4F, the coldest was -27F.  I also forgot how very pretty it gets with snow on the ground and trees.

* My mom teaches after school craft program at elementary school. Every year there are competitions for a best teacher in the city and the region. A part of the competition is an open lesson where a teacher has a group of kids (8-10) they’ve never met to give a lesson. I got a chance to go with mom to two of those lessons. I learned a lot and confirmed what I already knew from watching and from mom’s critiques and explanations. I would really like to use what I’ve learned in teaching kids’ crochet classes.

* I got a chance to get together with my classmates. I have not seen them in 10 years. We went to elementary, middle and high school together, with some of them we even went to kindergarten together. It was absolutely wonderful to talk to them and to see how is everyone are doing.

10 years later

* “Arkhangelsk” translates to city of angels, like Los Angles just much colder ;). According to Wikipedia, Arkhangelsk “lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea in the far north of European Russia. City districts spread for over 40 kilometers (25 mi) along the banks of the river and numerous islands of its delta. Arkhangelsk was the chief seaport of medieval Russia.” The population is about 400k, so I guess it qualify is a city. Over the years it did change a lot. Many new buildings have been build, a lot of new stores and mall have been open. I spotted Columbia and Nike stores among others. The drama theater was reconstructed and looks amazing.

* I learned that the smaller the airport the more stupid strict their rules are. Apparently in Russia you luggage is not only limited by the amount of bags, but also by weight. In Moscow I was allowed to check in 40 lb bag and 20 lb carry on, however in Arkhangelsk I was only allowed 40 lb all together. Let’s just say there were the most stressful 20 minutes of my life, trying to decide what to leave and how to repack, and still have to for extra weight. Fortunately it did not leave us a lot of time for saying goodbyes, hence no crying.

* I had about 5 hour before my flight back to New York. My aunt (mom’s sister), uncle and cousins came to the airport to hangout with me, which was really great. I remembered my little cousins when they were 14 and 16 year old boys, and here they were 6 foot almost grown men!

* On the side note I did not have any problems with transporting crochet hook and crocheting on the plane.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.anastasiapopova.com/2010/12/there-and-back/


  1. Peggy

    Aw come on. That is not your mother. More like your sister. Stop lying to us.

  2. crochetnj.com

    Peggy, if I had a penny for every time someone said that 😀 I would have been a millionaire!

    It’s a benefit of living in cold climate 😉

  3. Ann

    Oh- I loved seeing the pictures of you family. Your mother does look young and stylish. I know that you miss them terribly but we are so happy to have you back with us.

    See you Wednesday night!

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