A year in Russia
I’ve previously mentioned that a few days before I left for Voronezh my phone was stolen. At the time, I didn’t fret about it, I suppose I had bigger things on my mind such as uprooting my life and jetting off to Russia. After all, my insurance was sorting me out a new one and it just had to be posted out to me right? Well, kind of. To send it securely, it would cost a lot of money. It’s an outlay that I can neither afford nor justify as I do have a backup phone here with me, albeit one that has no internal memory space for apps. The thing is without a decent phone and associated apps, I’m starting to feel rather isolated from my friends.
I know it’s only a phone, so I shouldn’t whinge. I know people survived without them on their year abroad travails before (back in the 1980’s or some crazy time like that) and I can send letters. I still have a computer- I can email. Suck it up Vincent.
The problem is that I’ve become so accustomed to having a smart phone; the instant responses on WhatsApp and the funny insights into my friends daily lives via SnapChat. Not to mention having a Russian-English dictionary app and Wiktionary permanently with me (two godsends I might add).
I’m used to not seeing my friends on a regular basis; two of my closest and dearest friends moved to Australia last summer, one to work on a goldmine near Perth and the other to study in Sydney. Another had moved out to Aus when we were 11, and SnapChat really does keep the spark alive as we mong about in our respective countries. My closest friend from home is about to move to Thailand to teach English. That’s not even including my friends from Uni who are based in various far-flung places around the world while on placement (ok, Belgium, France and Switzerland but that’s still far away from me!). It’s no good saying, “I’ll see them at Christmas”. I won’t.
I need my internet based communication back on track. The ease of use, the surprise pictures of a sunset, videos of pets doing stupid things, heck- videos of them doing stupid things. The little laughs these bring me, in fact sometimes full belly laughs, and the sense of involvement with their lives; seeing them as they are right that minute- are thoroughly missed right now. Of course, I’m keeping busy and sharing things with my friends here in Voronezh. But I feel so cut off from my besties at a time when there’s so much to share with them that I’m feeling really quite lonely (and stupendously pathetic for it).
I’m aware of Facebook chat and email, but it’s not so easy when these are prohibited in work places and some of my friends barely use either anyway. Skype- well with time differences to manage and busy lives, none of us are that organised. We’ve always got good intentions, but it never quite pans out. Plus, those photos of you hungover with kebab stuck to your face after a night out that no one remembers won’t be deleted if sent via Facebook. They will be saved. Forever. And randomly shared on what ever social network is popular in 10 years time.
I don’t feel homesick too much. Just friendsick.
Featured image copyright a pocket full of prose blog