Three things have happened to me in the last week that indicate my increasing integration into Russian society. Today my registration for my new work visa was finally completed, and with it I got a list of local hospitals and clinics I can go to with my health insurance. Employer’s health insurance! In Russia! According to this list, I can even go to a birthing house free of charge, though in the unlikely event that I were about to have a baby, I still think I’d make a run for the Finnish border.

Last week I signed up for a discount card at Maxidom, a housewares and home improvements store similar to the American chain Home Depot. Not that I shop there all that frequently, but the card was offered to me, so why not? I filled out the application, and when I submitted it, the woman at the information desk was like, “Patronymic?” “I don’t have one,” I said sheepishly. But my dad’s name is Gregory, which can be Russified to Grigory, so I could use Grigorevna. But… should someone named Megan Case have a patronymic?

All right, the last and most significant evidence of my Russification is that I went for a walk in the woods in a skirt and boots (knee-high, leather, and black, with small heels — not hiking boots). It wasn’t a planned trip to the forest, it just kind of happened, and that’s what I was wearing. I often see women in bucolic settings dressed as if they’re going to a formal or something, that’s Russian fashion for you. So now I’ve been inappropriately attired in the forest as well.

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