One day of an Italian woman in Moscow

Hi, I’m Sydney. I’m 28, I’m Italian, but I’ve been living in Moscow for almost two years.

For a living, I work as a teacher of English and Italian in Kourkino, outside Moscow. I love teaching, but I actually would love to do something else in my life. I guess that, apart from the fact that it’s difficult to get a working visa here, employers  (and men) find it difficult to cope with people like me, multi-skilled, multi-taskers and interested in so many things. Well, as for the man, I must have worked out the problem, I suppose. So I don’t get let down for the job: my time will come. (Can you heeeear meee? I am a good teacher, but not just thaaaat!)

This is one day of mine, and this day is Saturday, the 22nd of March, which is the second day of spring and the first day I am delivering a lesson in Russian. But let’s start from the beginning.

On Saturday I’m supposed to sleep and rest after an intense week of teaching, working for second jobs and studying, but! turns out on Saturdays one can still be very busy, so after studying until 3:30, that’s how I wake up.


Yes, I have my mobile set in Russian. That is because I am not a tourist, I just go and live in places.

And this is the face I have before I wash it.


So, I wash my face, drag along into the kitchen and have a rich in vitamins breakfast  plus American coffee. Yes, I come from the motherland of espresso. So WHAT?


That’s a banana, energetic and good for muscles: it is supposed to fight feet and legs cramps. And that’s milk with nuts muesli, which is supposed to boost everything related to the head, in my case brain and hair.

Then my American coffee and I move back to my room, which after one week lived like one long day, looks like this:


Yea I know you’ve seen worse, but for me that’s BAD, and it’s time to do something about that. So, I count one hour ahead of me to tide up, dust and vacuum. That’s the final result:


I haven’t just moved stuff onto the bed. That’s actually what I’m going to wear.

It’s 12:00 and, since I am supposed to leave at 13:30 for the only hustle class I can attend in a week, at 14:30, it’s time to read the newspapers and to work: at 17:00 I am delivering a lesson about Neapolitan Smorfia and my regional culture at the cultural centre and anticafé Punktum, I haven’t revised and saved it on the external hard disk yet and I don’t remember anything about the Punic Wars. This is where I finish to prepare my presentation in record time.


Gosh, it’s 13:15, I shall dress myself. I wear sporty things ‘cause I can’t be bothered to change myself everytime, I’m already perpetually late just like that. I don’t usually put make up on, I don’t have time and no, I’m not a lazy woman just because I won’t find it. I’ve got stuff to do and I am still young enough not to hide anything except, well… my swelling eyes.

That’s what I’m bringing with me and that’s how I look before going out.

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I’m late: I will never be at Dinamo at 14:15. I run down (well, by lift), and that’s the building I leave:


I’ve always been concerned with how the exterior looks horrible if compared to the interior. Still, it’s just in front of the chocolate factory, the red building. It always smells like chocolate out here. I manage to catch a marshrutka, which saves me 12 minutes walking.

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I get to the metro Krasnoselskaya and I just miss the train. Joke: there’s one every like minute or less. By the way: yesterday there was snow everywhere. Look how everything has already melted and dried. I’m gonna be hot in the fur jacket.

I have to change at Ohotny Rjad. For some personal reasons, I love this change.

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It’s 14:09 when I get to Teatralnaja, I don’t know how this happened, but I’m not late anymore, in about 7 minutes we do 4 stations, and I’m already at Dinamo. As I move up the escalator, something strikes me: this man is using escalator brushes to clean his shoes.


This is the personal reason I was telling you about, my partner in dance and in life. He meets me outside the metro and we go together.


It’s a sunny day. We take a shortcut. I am happy.


This is the high school which hosts our dance school.


Today we have a weird class, because one teacher is late and there are not enough guys. I often have to stand alone and enjoy the sight of my partner dancing with other girls.

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My time has come! The lesson is over.


I’m starving. On the way to the metro we stop at Kroshka Kartoshka and get me a sandwich with chicken breast for 43 roubles.

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Off to Novoslobodskaja, on the circle line.

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The beautiful red church is on the way to the anticafé. We have arrived. Shhh… Somebody in one of the rooms is attending a painting class!

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We’ve come earlier and we sit and wait in another room. Here it comes to my mind that I just wanted to lose a Bookcrossing book I had found this autumn in the school I was working at, because I have tried to read it, but though I am getting a C1 in Russian, my understanding of nuances is not  subtle enough  yet for me to laugh everytime I understand I’m supposed to laugh. As soon as I decide to lose the book, whose title is “A Plumber, his wife and other details”, I find who will adopt it next. My man. He knows exactly when to laugh and he doesn’t even have to understand what’s funny.

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And then, there it goes, my presentation. My man seems to enjoy me even if I look like a zombie.

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We are finished. We decide to take a walk and to nourish our bodies. On the way to the metro we stop for an excursion at the beautiful red church. They are having a mass but, unfortunately, it’s not allowed to take pictures in orthodox churches; plus I kind of feel bad at taking pictures during a mass. I still have an icon where Baby Jesus sits in a weird position. DSC00224

We decide to look for a Mou-mou. Along the way we see an interesting pair of shoes and a mirror turtle.

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We have found it. I’m eating purple today: vinegret salad and borsh soup. I’m so hungry that I see monsters.

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After dinner, we go walking to Belorusskaja, where we plan to take the metro home. I used to work here once.

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It’s 20:20. Home! Home! Home! But still, why would a dog be worried about contraception?!


That’s really the time to call it a day. We are falling asleep everywhere. Nevertheless, we find the time to watch Operatsia Y, one of the episodes of the sovietic series Shurik’s Adventures, and to read about member of Parliament Zhirinovsky’s proposal to ban Russian letter Y (Ы) from the cyrillic alphabet and other mystifying proposals, such as lowing down to 10 the age suitable for punishment according to the penal code, or providing women with two extra free days from work when they have their period.

Saturday is over. And Sunday will be as restless. I really need to have some sleep.



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