I’ve been noticing lately that being here is no longer entirely novel, but normal, in a nice way. I don’t wake up in the morning and go “Whoa! I’m still in Russia!” I get up, I go to work, I do the shopping, I have a social life that doesn’t consist solely of other foreigners. I feel like a real person rather than a tourist.

I’ve also noticed that my passive Russian vocabulary has really improved, although I still speak like a fucking idiot, and am starting to realize that I probably always will. But it’s nice to be able to read and listen to the news on the radio and so forth.