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I have been living in Berlin in Germany since 2014 and whereas I wouldn't say I feel like a local yet, I definitely feel settled and have past the 2 year breaking-in period. Business as usual now. Before that, I lived in Russia for two years (St Peterburg, Moscow) to learn the Russian language and see if I could nudge myself into some good vantage point from where I could try and understand a bit of what constitutes the contemporary Russian identity and how does it differ from mine. If my country believed more convincingly that a masters in something humanities-based was something a bit more worth encouraging, I'd dream of studying Russian Studies at UCL. Alas. Rather than face bankrupcy on graduation, I move a few times to opposing ends of the european sphere, read a ton of everything, self-study, and do the best with what I have. Meeting people along the way decorates this so far sorry excuse of an About Me, because I've met some wonderful, funny, always giving and interesting people. That's in a like manner the gift of CS right? Whatever way you participate, you're probably the kind of person who is interested in getting out of your comfort zone every now and again by agreeing to meet with a totally random stranger. More often than not it's completely worth it, and I've actually met a best friend or two via the platform, so thank you, thank you!
Other than that I like to read. Books, internet blogs, instruction manuals, my lists. All these are good. I like to walk and I like to watch: people, movies, out the window, at a lake, around an unkown part of town, or somewhere completely new. Sounds a bit dreamy, right? Believe it or not, I'm a bit of a workaholic, and when I'm not working, I'm learning something, so when I do finally get out, all of the above is an absolute treat that spruces me up just lurvely thanks. Throw in a shot of caffeine and some warming food and baby, I'm in heaven. I like to meet people and have brief acquaintances, the longer the better :D What can I say! I am who I am. No one special and constantly changing. Probably not as sassy as this About Me makes me sound, but hopefully it was punctuated well enough so that it flowed well. Let's go for a walk shall we?
As difficult as this can be to always follow, I go by the belief that you should always treat people as you'd like and hopefully expect to be treated yourself. Super hard to do all the time, but year after year, this still seems unfailingly right. Also, try and say yes to what you can (within reason of course). Left to my own devices, I'd just be sitting somewhere reading or walking alone. Saying yes when I'd much rather initially go to a cafe and be a bookworm has led to some really rewarding experiences that tend to lead you somewhere afterwards as well.
Always bring a pen, paper, snacks and a bottle opener.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
In the past, I have used Couchsurfing a lot by meeting with individuals and going to events, including the infamous CS Weekly Meeting at Kontakt Bar in St Petersburg. I have surfed a few couches as well and have had every time a great experience. Unfortunately, I have never been in a position where I can host, but if you think you and I would have something in common, then time permitting, send me a message and I'd be happy to meet with you while you are in Berlin. A message doesn't have to be long, I can always read your profile, but spammy messages will be flat out ignored.
Languages and books. Music. Food. Learning about us as a people and how we tick, what we need, how we thrive and why we divide ourselves. Cups of something hot and nourishing. Sitting on public transport. Trying to not read the news. Quiet time and people time.
Music, Movies, and Books
Lots, but I don't want to write them all here. In terms of books, favourites are Russian classics and classics in general. As I like to travel, I've found one of the best ways to prepare myself for a country is by reading some of its literature. This is not an approach I've employed as such, but if I want to visit South Korea and China now, it's only because I read Wild Swans by Jung Chang or Nothing to Envy by Barara Demick. In fact, if you know of a book which you think an outsider such as myself should read if they want to get an idea on what your country/people/culture/history is about, then let me know. Right now, I'm starting to get into psychology loosely and can imagine I will progress with that.
I love movies, and I either swing between watching them every week, to not really feeling like watching them at all. One year, I managed to somehow bag a film critic job at the Berlinale so hopefully my movie-wizz credentials are at least sea level. I think when you really love movies, you don't expect when you sit down to watch a new one to have all the boxes ticked, but to go away with an impression on a particular issue. Film festivals are a really good way to see a lot of interesting rough-around-the-edges work and I used to go (and even work) at them quite a lot. I love those little country specific ones. By this point, we have such a rich cinematic history from all corners of the globe to draw on, yet, a bit like with books, when it comes time to decide on what to watch next, I'm often just stumped and exhaling when asked with 'What do you feel like watching?'
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Walk around St Petersburg on a summer evening.
I travelled around Europe twice on an Interrail ticket. I was very young then and at that time, it was really pushing my boundaries. Do it, or something like it, if you can, at least once in your little life.
I'm about to go to Asia for the first time.
Teach, Learn, Share
Countries I’ve Visited
Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Germany, Russian Federation, Spain