Italian about how his life has changed in Russia

Inspired by Russian literature, three years ago, Axel decided to move to Russia. He immediately immersed himself in Russian life - traveling in the car with reserved seats, adjusted to the local perception of distances, and even bathed in the icy water. And what he learned.

Italian about how his life has changed in Russia

My first winter in Russia began in January 2017, and it was one of the coldest winters in the last hundred years. Although, for me, as someone who loves winter, it was an interesting experience, and I even tried to swim in the icy water, when the Orthodox, according to tradition, celebrate this ritual of the baptism of Jesus.

This was one of the most interesting experiences of my life, and I'm very proud of him. That evening, I was just listening to music at home, when suddenly one of my friends asked me if I do not want to join them and celebrate with Baptism. I did not hesitate for a second, just got dressed and left the house. Upon arrival, I saw a frozen river and a lot of people who are preparing for bathing, including children.

Italian about how his life has changed in Russia

When I got to water, I noticed, that the surface has formed a new thin layer of ice after first bathers purified from it the hole, since a temperature of about - 10 ° C. Then I went into the water, and suddenly felt a chill gripped my legs. And yet, I fell three times, and then went out. After bathing, there was a great sense of relaxation and warmth. Do I like it? Yes of course. It was a great adventure, but, I confess, I'm not ready to repeat it - once was more than enough.

How did I get here

I arrived in Moscow at the age of 21, when he was still very young and not assuming how this decision would change my life. Before that, I taught himself Russian, buying books and watching educational videos on YouTube.

Italian about how his life has changed in Russia

I do not remember exactly when I started my passion for the Russian language, but she held me for a long time. I would like to learn Russian, because reading classic Russian literature and listening to Russian music made me fall in love with the language and country. Finally, in March 2016, I decided that the best way to learn a language - it is moving. So I decided to leave the sunny Italy, where he had just received a college degree in the field of tourism, and to move in the cold, northern, snowy Russia.

Italian about how his life has changed in Russia

My first visit to Russia was on private invitation and a visa valid for 90 days, and to get it was not particularly difficult. Due to the remote work as a freelance translator, I had a lot of free time to explore Russian culture and the Russian people. I wanted to understand their way of thinking and lifestyle.

on adapting to life in a big city, and the study of Russian language

Moscow is very different from any other town I've ever lived. And I pretty much moved between Italy and Eastern Europe. In the Russian capital is home to about 12, 5 million people, and the rhythm of life there's just crazy. I grew up in a small town in northern Italy, where he lives only 80 thousand people, and the people there are completely different concept of life. What I like most in Moscow, so this is the perfect organization of many things, from public transport, which is always fast and characterized by punctuality, to streets that are always clean and landscaped. Although, of course, I do not like traffic jams.

Italian about how his life has changed in Russia

My adaptation is not too difficult. Since I live far from the tourist center, in the northern part, where people do not speak in English, and do not expect to see a foreigner, I had from the beginning to get used to the Russian way of life. For example, I learned to drink a lot of tea at any time of the day.

At the beginning I could only speak three sentences in Russian: "hello," "thank you" and "I do not speak in Russian," but after a few months, I have received compliments from many people. They said that I even behave almost like a Russian, because I used the jargon, like "what?" (Informal "what") and "pancake" (used instead of "the devil"). I had to face some obstacles, such as bureaucracy (I had to fill out tons of paperwork for legal reasons and make a lot of trips in dozens of different institutions) and cultural differences, mainly related to eating habits (I still can not get used to the smell pickles).

Italian about how his life has changed in Russia

What I learned in the Russian capital, it is the fact that in this gigantic city routine work almost non-existent! Shops and even offices are often working around the clock. Distances are huge, and the trip to meet with someone who lives in another part of town, can take several hours.

Here in Moscow, my Russian friends sometimes invited me to join them on a trip for the weekend, as they say, out of the city. But when I ask how far it is, I say, "Oh, it's not very far, five hundred kilometers." The total length of my country is about 1185 kilometers, so for me, even now, after all this time, I was still very strange to hear such.

Communicate with Russian

Most Russians love Italy, and this fact really helped me to build relationships with people. On the streets of Moscow, one can often hear the Italian song or see the Italian shops. People here are very patriotic set. They talk about their country with love and pride. They show me to every corner of the city, and, most importantly, they know how to find the beauty in everyday life. At the same time, they taught me to love, not only Russia, but also to appreciate their homeland.

Italian about how his life has changed in Russia

After many months of living in Russia, I have to say that the Russian people are really strong, but they do not brag about it - they just give you to understand their way of life. Here you can learn how to find the good side in every situation, to understand the true meaning of the phrase, "Oh, today's cold!" And learn to appreciate the little things that can make you happy. Russian taught me that no matter how cold it is outside, always warm enough to smile at another (and a cup of tea, of course).