Привет from the New Intern at Liden and Denz
Привет from the New Intern at Liden & Denz
Hello everyone! My name is Cynthia, and I’m a Swiss-Hungarian 19 year old fresh off the boat from Washington, D.C.. I’m the new intern at Liden & Denz in St. Petersburg.
“Why, – you may wonder – isn’t she ripe enough for an identity crisis, without adding another culture to the mix?” Well then, how about I tell you a little bit about myself…
I decided to spend the last few months of my gap year in the wonderful cultural capital of Russia, after reminiscing about my first encounters with the city ten years ago. Though my linguistic proficiency in Russian begs to differ, I spent three years of my childhood in Moscow (kudos to my parents for our nomadic lifestyle).
I spent a good chunk of my curriculum at the German School in Moscow learning the language and picked up enough vocabulary, while exploring the city, to get by fairly well. Unfortunately, most of my Russian went flying out the window shortly after my family had packed our bags and left to a different country, where I would start learning a fundamentally different language.
To my own surprise, and after all these years, here I am once again: Back at the wonderful getaway I remember from my childhood! Don’t get me wrong: As much as I adore Moscow, and still consider the novi and stari Arbat (Новый Арбат, Старый Арбат) the best backyard playgrounds a kid could ever have, constant exposure to the hectic city would at times turn it rather stuffy and grey. When we (respectively my parents) desperately needed a breath of fresh air, our family would head westward towards picturesque Petersburg for a cultural indulgence of a weekend.
It is safe to say that upon my return, I instantly reconnected with the Russian culture. Within my first few days in the city, I’ve had the joy of experiencing wonderfully nostalgic memories through everyday aspects of Russian life. For instance, I’m guilty of grinning like a child at every Teremok (Теремок) I walk past. The fresh hot blini (Блины) from the popular fast food chain were the perfect after-school snack in the freezing winters of Moscow.
Now, the objective lies in reconnecting with the language. While I will always carry the shame of having dropped the language faster than you can say Джек Робинсон, I’m here on the quest to regain the solid base of Russian knowledge I had as a kid.
Besides my personal goal of reclaiming my Russian street cred (mainly consisting of conversations with pigeon-feeding babushkas [бабушки] in friendly parks), I’m also eager to explore the city in all its glory through a (somewhat) more mature perspective. So, join me on my journey through the Venice of the North, and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two along the way; I’m sure I will.
Cynthia, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz St. Petersburg