Saturday, October 27, 2012

R.I.P. iPhone and Ambivalence

GLOSSARY for today's post:

iPhone: Portal to my alternate universe, aka America. Internet vehicle. Dictionary. Translator. Accountant. Mirror. Camera. Best friend...getting a bit carried away. But you follow.


1A. uncertainty or fluctuation, especially when caused by inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.

1B. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person, object, or idea.

The ambivalence that will be discussed herein is most effectively understood when these definitions are combined.


***20.10.12 - 27.10.12***

As the week began I was glowing, distributing Ghirardelli's chocolate goodness, and smiling (seemingly illegally) in the metro. After a sharp drop in temperature on Monday, and the exhaustion which ensued post International week-day getaway, said smile may have been waning.

Then Tuesday hit with a vengeance. I was sandwiched in the morning metro madness, headed to morning Russian class. And when I exited the metro car onto the platform, I heard something fall from my bag. Strange, I thought to myself (hence the italics) when I saw my Bolshoi ID card on the ground. And I picked it up, going quasi-merrily on my way. Only once I had settled into class, tired and getting frustrated that I couldn't remember the Russian word for curtains (a. it's шторы and b. this is totally a relevant word in my life, given the asiatic language that is printed all over mine) did I reach for my dictionary. Otherwise known as the iPhone. Only to realize why I had heard my ID card fall to the floor. Someone had stolen my child. Along with it's Russian stepsister---I purchased her for about $10 when I was in Moscow 2 years ago.

I have known loss before.
But in that moment, any previously mentioned glow was eliminated. And replaced with flames of rage and disdain for my new big-city home. My poor Russian teacher...she kindly suggested I should relax and go to a museum I had once mentioned in passing. Not really my method for coping with frustration. I decided instead to take my anger out on genitive case studies. Not to be confused with gender case studies.

Phone-less. iPhone-less. Internet-less (this was the week that it would not be functioning at home ALL week). Tired. Cold. Hungry. Homeless. Bereft. Forlorn. Alright...definitely being over-dramatic. First-world problems, I know. Here's the thing: you take my technology, you take away the half of my life that exists somewhere on the other side of the world. And while I am well aware that that life goes on without me, I need to witness it. Because it's still mine. However far away I may be.

Benefit of technological isolation? Adequate time for reflection. Moscow, meet AMBIVALENCE. Do I have mixed feelings about living here? Check. Love/Hate relationship with the language, city, etc.? Check. And might some of this fluctuation and uncertainty be owed to my inability to make a decision? BINGO!

I realized that while I'm living in Moscow, I've actually been putting life on hold. I've gotten into the habit of not really settling in...this could stem from last season's "A Move a Month" game. And since I haven't decided what's next, it seemed impossible to decide what's now. No more!

The iPhone may be gone, but I'm sending ambivalence right along with it. I don't expect mixed emotions to vanish immediately, but that won't be due to my indecisiveness any longer. While I don't believe in buying happiness (at least not entirely), I did purchase a few items today to reconstruct the version of life that makes me feel at home. Most who know me will recognize the joy invoked by...
...a juice extractor!!! That's right people. I'll be drinking pure, unadulterated green goodness. Or red, given the abundance of beets...

Also purchased today, this yoga mat. I seriously regret looking it up online, as I now know what I should have to pay for it in normal life. But this is Moscow. So I'll simply swallow and make certain that I get enough downward dog action to make it not seem quite so exorbitant.

And, after avoiding opening them all week, thinking that it was best to save them for a truly rainy day, I indulged in these as a celebration of my new purchases, my new attitude, and life in general. PB: Pure. Bliss.


  1. Gah, I know this feeling so well - for the LONGEST time I wouldn't buy anything big in Melbourne, even though i was fairly certain I was going to stay here I just couldn't bring myself, because what would I do if I left? How would I bring a cast iron pot with me?

  2. Let me know how to get in touch with you! xK


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