I was just talking to my friend back home about my break, and it kind of has steered towards the issue of holidays. Now, as a relatively recent expat of just over three months, the difference hasn’t been quite as noticeable, but talking to Amanda has reinforce it. For starters, Thanksgiving is justifiably non-existent here (as it’s a North American thing), but I will be working on western Christmas Day. However, because I work for a western company, I’m sure there will be a little ceremony or acknowledgement. I won’t lie, it’s somewhat refreshing not having the holidays shoved down my throat like the ads back home do. That being said, I’m slightly (okay, maybe more than slightly) bummed that I’ll be working, since I know everybody back home will be spreading the cheer; I even have my Facebook status planned out for this. I think my goal is to spread the cheer in the classroom ala purchasing a Santa hat and blasting Christmas music the entire day. But seriously.
On the other hand, I do get the first two weeks of January off, which is nice. Even at the end of November, some friends and colleagues were asking me what I was planning to do during my time off. (The answer of which was something along the lines of “once I get paid, I’ll have an idea”. I am trying to go to either Malta or the Czech Republic.) Part of me wants to stay in Moscow just to witness the shenanigans that likely will occur, given the free-for-all drinking that inevitably will occur (based on what I’m told), but the other half of me wants to use this time to travel, either internally or externally.
To wrap this post up, I will say that I’ve checked the calendar and it would appear that Russia has more holidays/time off than back home. They’re generally scattered around in the spring, but either way, I’ll take it. The merits of them may not stack up to Christmas or Thanksgiving, but time off is much appreciated. But:
God forbid if I can’t properly celebrate Chinese New Year.