Cultural adjustment means there will be good days and bad days. I've been back in Moscow for 2 and a half weeks. This is about the time I usually hit a slump--the realities of life in Moscow hit me, the charm wears off, and no one asks anymore how your trip was.
My friend Anita and I were chatting at lunch about Russian service. When we travel outside of Russia, you are shocked when people are nice to you or the service is good. I took a friend of a friend who had just arrived out to lunch and described the restaurant as pretty good food and the service isn't bad. Translation=that's a good restaurant here in Moscow. My friend Anita remarked it's amazing what we will tolerate and pay good money for in Moscow; lowest common denominator is acceptable and anything above is a welcomed surprise. The thing to remember is that in Russia there just isn't a tradition of customer service; there was no incentive in the previous 100 years for good or friendly service.
The hard part of coming back was that my trip was really fabulous and it's hard to top that! I'll post some pictures in the coming days, but it really did fill my soul to be home, to feel independent, to see mountains and sunshine, and most importantly to be around people who know me and love me.
Safe travels . . . Carolyn