I’m having a bit of a mid-life crisis. I don’t know if I want to keep being a lawyer….right now I’m leaning towards “no.” But I also don’t know what I want to do if I’m not a lawyer. These questions dominate my every waking moment, pretty much. And they’ve paralyzed me. So I’m running away for a bit.
Going to Russia is always comforting to me. I don’t know why. My current theory is that it is the perfect mix of familiar and unfamiliar. That is, I know my way around Moscow, speak Russian, etc., but there are always words I don’t know, customs I don’t understand, etc. This is even more true when I travel through other parts of Russia. In other words, there’s enough for my brain to chew on to keep me from ruminating about my unclear life situation, but not so much that I’m overwhelmed. In this way my OCD self finds relaxation. Go figure.
The nominal excuse for this trip is a conference at the Russian Academy of Sciences called, “Migration Bridges in Eurasia.” I”m presenting a paper and I’m presenting in Russian! I’m shaking in my professional low-heeled pumps about it, but I also enjoy weird challenges.
After the conference, I’m traveling along the Volga (hence the movie poster for Volga-Volga, a 1938 musical comedy). This is where the Volga is:
I’ve circled the Crimea just so you can see that I’m not near it. Or Eastern Ukraine. See that, Mom and Dad? I’m not near a war zone. I also added Sochi on there since most people have now heard of it.
This is my route. I fly from Moscow to Volgograd, then train to Saratov, Samara and Kazan. Then I travel through the Mari El republic for a few days and then train back to Moscow.
You know what we need here? We need some Finns disco-dancing to a song called “Volga Volga.”