Would that I could report already some budding relationships with our neighbors. I’m afraid that is not happening yet. I have heard Russians described as like a nut that is hard on the outside and soft on the inside. Americans, by contrast, are like a peach – soft on the outside and hard on the inside. we’ve managed to have one actual conversation with our next door neighbor who owns a Georgian restaurant. You better believe we are headed there soon!
Otherwise, we are working on moving from no eye contact to hello to a hello back to a few words exchanged. Pray for us that we can build those bridges.
What I can show you so far is the look of the area around our home, which was a major factor in our deciding to move here. It looks very different from anywhere else in the city, more like a European town in some respects. And in fact, the houses here were built by German prisoners of war who were not released immediately after WW2. The first picture is of the side our our building. Our windows are the first three from the left.
The next two shots are of the view from our door into the courtyard surrounded mostly by other buildings like our own. The lady across from us spends a ton of time outside tending the flowers and plants she has planted. Such care for a public area is highly unusual here. Diana wants to meet her and help her out next year. The place is much cleaner and more presentable since even we first arrived, since they just finished paving what had been a nightmare to navigate. Another neighbor took it on himself to paint himself some lines and color his curbstones in a curious way.
On a nice day, we like to walk home from school with the boys, which takes only about 50-60 minutes and takes us through and island called “Central Park” that is very beautiful and also has a few places to play.