I took a year off to live and work in Russia in 1999-2000. The destination was a city by the name of Chita located in Siberia – the “City of Exiles.” A lawyer gone wild, indeed.
I have to admit the year spent in Russia was a tremendous experience. Most people think of traveling as something they can do in one or two-week segments while on vacation from the j-o-b. While understandable, try to immerse yourself in a country for six months to a year if you ever get the opportunity. You will learn a lot more about the location and yourself.
I am often asked to describe the city, which is difficult. The following video gives you an idea of the location and character of the city, although it was a bit more “antique” when I was there 20 years ago.
I get a number of questions regarding Russia and the trip, so let me answer them quickly.
1. Do Russians really drink as much vodka as advertised?
A. No. They drink MORE. I pickled my liver. Seriously.
2. How cold did it get in winter?
A. Down to -10 to -20 degree Celsius in my area.
3. Strangest thing I discovered.
A. How high the temperatures would rise in the summer. The temperature was regularly in the 90s. Not exactly parka weather.
4. Did I marry a Russian?
A. No. Very close, but no.
5. The worst part of the trip?
A. I spent a day picking potatoes by hand. Worst…job…ever.
The plan is to write a novel about the adventure one of these days. So far, I’m still on page one after 20 years. A lawyer gone wild is not conducive to pumping out the pages!