Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Moscow Shuffle

As always I start the week with leaping outta bed to tackle the new week with feverent verve and focus. This being my 12th week teaching and I had my meeting with management for my 8 week trail period. (yes that is the Russian way it seems, timing is everything). The meeting did not go as well as I suspected and many of the supposed complaints came out that student had about me. To date I have only been ever told of the positive feedback from students through admin and some of the common grumbles students had, so up until mid afternoon Friday I was feeling I had made great strides forward and my 110% effort had paid off... well management never present the good you have done in meetings.

It seems even the nicest face in the office can turn cold in the face of criticism. I have found, generally speaking, that Russians will fuck you over in a flat second with the same smile on their face they greet you with if you had saved their child from being killed. In my experience, acknowledge the smiles they show but watch the hands for the knife that will stab you in the heart...

So I am set back to square one, I have another meeting to reprise the meeting we just had in one month, in the mean time we have a new teacher arriving from America in 10 days, and from what I have been told, it is not beyond this school I am at to give marching orders quite quickly and unexpectedly. So this weekend I am washing and cleaning my clothes and packing away those that I need the least so that I am at least partially ready for the eviction notice.

The Skipper and Delboy are outta Russia for Christmas, I am likely to exit too, Berlin is calling me. Besides, I need my passport stamped so I can work the final 3 months. So for at least some of the Christmas holidays I will have to baby-sit the new teacher, I feel empathy for the fella, but I REALLY don't want to baby-sit and hand hold a new teacher over Christmas, Even part of it, I have things to do...

On the home front, 'Attilla The Landlady' is grumbling and it is likely she want her apartment to live in or to increase the price of the rent per month, now the boss is unlikely to want to pay extra. So, as I see it, in the coldest month in Russia, I may have to move house and deal with the cold and snow and depressing time alone at Christmas and move house... An in the last 4 weeks before the big day, before the skipper goes home to the UK I have the pull out the 120% to improve and be a better teacher. Because if I don't I am gone...

So Obi is doing the Russian two step... shuffle shuffle step, stumble back, shuffle shuffle step...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Rush Hour

Oh how I crave sunshine...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Modern English

Saturday night - home for a change and resting. I am feeling 900% better than I did, but of course that is no reason to restart the blow torch and attack the candle at both ends again.
Had a nice chat with my Aunt Bev and Mum this morning, tho straight out of bed and tackling an abstract problem like email config with voice and chat bounced off a satellite is a little difficult. Luckily there it wasn't something I could fix anyway...
My cousin got married, and I heard it was a lovely wedding. He and his beloved are bouncing across the globe.
Events keep happening whether I am around or not... I guess that is life and why that say - Life be in it.
This week started badly but ended well, I took the metaphoric cold bucket of practical reality and snapped myself outta the funk I was in and got into the work of planning lessons and teaching and washing and cooking and sleeping and eating all this in a regular clockwork pattern... and it worked.
so now I sit and relax and plan next week. I have a somewhat different schedule next week, one of my classes ended abruptly because the owners shut down the office it was operating from. None of the students want to come to the main school and so there we have it - a class dead half way through. This has been replaced with some conversational classes with advanced students, so out of one frying pan and into another...
Skipper has taken off to Tula again to be with his paramour and good luck to him, the coconuts around here are not the best...
Tomorrow my ardent friend will be introducing me to yet anotehr girl she wants to hook me up with... personally I have a bad feeling about it all, but I aim to make a new friend at least.
Obi thinking & speaking a modern English...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hypertension — сильно повышенное давление

Obi has had a blinding headache for the last five days and at 5am monday morning I was woken by the blinding pressure of a terrible headache and palpitations.
8.30 came and I called the one person at work that could advice me, she suggested I called the company provided health insurance company for advice on a doctor. I thought they would advise me of someone to see close to home and that is it... No.
The insurance company advised me they had a doctor coming around to my house within the house. Now that sort of service is so unrussian. So I waited and sure enough a man came to the door, he had on an emergency ambulance jacket and as I opened the door wider I saw the nurse and the driver similarly dressed. Now I was expectionally embarrassed that a low key doctor visit warranted a paramedic ambulance and a cast of 10,000.
Before they arrived I had done the smart thing of listing my symptoms and translating them thru a website. The doctor, a nice fellow with no english checked me out and then I called my wonderful co worker for a translation. didn't really get any information but I got an injection and a sedative and was told to rest up for the day. This I did with mixed feelings, I wanted to work, after all that is what I am here for, but the blinding headache fatigue and other symptoms encouraged me not to feel so bad about it... The nice sedative kicked in and I fell asleep, where I remained most of the day.
I need to get some serious medication for this or I am gonna 'splode in one way or another, none of them good. The herbal calmatives I tool didn't help, nor the beer, so now I am open to suggestions as to what can revieve this stress induced hypertensive situation... All I think I need is a little dose of sunshine and I won't being that for a while yet...
Obi go POP!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

New Friends With Pretty Hair

A poor sad dejected friend decided today that she should make a difference in my life for the better because she cannot seem to make one of her own.
She invited me to a bar close to home we have been to a few time and then went I arrived she introduced me to her friend Dina. Now Dina was described to me a stout and stoic... a good grounded person that was mature and even.
Tho... the girl I met looked like Alison Mack, gorgeous and was not stout at all, this friend of mine is 43kg in shoes - so I guess her perspective was a little off... We had a nice time and chatted and laughed over the dictionary and jokes and then we left. we all walked to the metro and then, as cold as the snow falling, she left. Ah well, it's not as if I don't have enough problems.
Full weeks work tomorrow.
Obi has a bad head ache

Friday, November 10, 2006

Poodle In A Jumpsuit!

The long weekend was well worth it. I needed the extra day to chill and detox from the confusion that presents itself on a daily basis. Tuesday my first student cancelled, but the rest of the day went well, tho most of my classes this week went south, people just didnt get what I was saying.
Tho this week also brought a glowing report from the senior teacher about my 2 month probation period. I was rather surprised on exactly how good it was.
the week finally seemed to make sense - logic reintroduced itself to my life and as I was getting off the metro at my station, I was someone had shawn a poodle in winter and compensated for the cold by dressing it in a padded jumpsuit from ass to head and paw... I looked into the dogs eyes and I felt the symbology of the moment and laughed.
Obi - Shawn and dangerous!

Monday, November 06, 2006

End Of A Long Weekend...

The long weekend draws to a close and I have been grateful for the time alone. I entertained a friend, I cooked, I surfed, I slept and ate. Most importantly of all I thought.
I thought about a great many things like ditching my job, but a side effect of the last 6 years has been the 110% determination that I have gained, like a death grip. I never let go, I never ever break. Tho my temper can get the better of me.
I will see what Christmas brings. I will work harder until then and take a week off. Relax and have some fun. Maybe go to Lithuania or Kiev... been invited.
I must say I can't really be bothered learning Russian anymore - well not actively anyway. So I won't the classes I have at work are free, but don't want to continue with them.
Time for a few beers and buy some bread for some sloppy joe sandwiches and a few episodes for the net...
Obi - Signing out.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Well the schedule finally got itself corrected, but just as I was about to head home my boss quizzed me about a new class. This by usual standards was not conveyed to me. So with 18 minutes, I had a class to prepare for. What, How many, what age, course name.... No idea.
So I frantically collected stuff that I might or might not use, called and cancelled plans, lost money on tickets I had already bought and headed back to the class room with grease paint and juggling balls in hand...
"...The Show Must Go On!"
Turns out it was and adult conversation class that had 3 students in it. All interesting in their own way but I was exhausted and smiled along.
This weekend is a long weekend here in Russia and I am glad for it, I am sitting in the dark alone and unhappy, I have been entertaining thoughts of packing up and heading off or yelling at my boss to take an interest in what happens at the school, be involved with the processes and procedures and to crack down on her usless best buddy that has caused all the grief, not only to me, but other teachers. But she could never do it. Spineless and apathetic.
Oh... and the contract I signed has not been honoured at all, but what do you expect from Russians?
Delboy is suppose to call me today to do some work and go to a concert, but as usual, men of his age do not turn on their mobile phones and I don't know his flat number or the street number of his place...
Obi - thinking about the future - AGAIN.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Missing a Bendy

I have been struggling to catch hold of a certain person for weeks it seems, her life is going thru a bit of a shakabuku and she needs some support coz she is babbling and rambling right out to left field! But I know she is nervous and stressed and worried and must make some big decisions soon...
So for her I have searched Youtube and video cure for a video to put here but all I could find was the words... Soon as I find the video I will post it for her... in the meantime. -
Home town bands always mean more...
Obi neee!

Schedule Enema

Well I had a new class to start yesterday and 3 hours before I was going to start, after I had spent a lot of time prepping, they say, "Oh we have a Russian teacher to do that, no we want to do another class completely..."
So last, night mentally prepped for a class, I felt like I had lost something and was anxious to find it, but there was nothing only the acceptance that I had no class... Today my schedule was cleared too, so all I have is to observe the class I am going to take over and it is at a time I had an appointment to see a doctor, so that 3 week plan has been whimsically destroyed...
Am I a teacher, am I an entertainer or am I a piece of IKEA modular furniture to push and kick into a new place coz it doesn't suit the lamp or side table.
Obi is a 'recover from disaster artist', drop some coins in my hat and watch me dance...
I - Obi...