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Home / Russia Factfile / Russia with eyes of our guests /

How I Live and Study in Russia

Ho Zhun Wai

Time flies like an arrow. Eight months in Russia flashed by in an eyewink. I think the time in Russia will stay in my memory forever, because it has become an integral part of my life story. It was autumn when I came here from China. On my way here I passed the lake Baikal and the taiga. The nature was striking. The people always think autumn to be a dull and bleak season, what with all those leaves falling down from the trees and a chill wind blowing. But this breathtaking scenery changed my mind instantly. Russia in autumn is strikingly beautiful: fresh wind blowing, light clouds floating high in the sky, trees with multi-colored leaves all around, clean rivers and air, all this added up to the beautiful scene. I think autumn is much more beautiful than spring in Russia. Time marches on. I have hardly got my bearings in a foreign environment as winter came in strong. They say Russia is very cold in winter. In fact, it was not that cold, with just a handful of really freezing weather. Winter scenery in Russia is the snow world in the flesh. What I liked most in Russia was the bright winter sun. It was such a rare occasion, which only made it all the more precious. And winter sports contributed greatly to the winter scenes. I came to Tomsk for one year to study Russian. Russian is one of the richest languages in the world. When I come across a new word, I mostly try to understand its meaning through the translation, that is why I have the bilingual dictionary with me at all times. I watch TV for 2.5 hours each day although quite often I have no idea of what they are talking about. I read a few newspapers a week as they have the most commonly used and customary words and sentences. Now I see it is possible to understand words without a dictionary - I got the feel of the language. I can analyze the text. I learned to understand the line of the movies, although I still do not understand them entirely (better than before anyway). The history of the Russian language shows that all words are tied together. Words with the same root are the best example, therefore one shall learn more about the meaning of the roots. It is very important for those who learn the Russian language. I must be lucky to study in Tomsk. This is a modern, big industrial, scientific and cultural center of Siberia. Tomsk celebrated its 400th anniversary recently. The town has its inimitable atmosphere of warmth and coziness. I fell in love with this town and its inhabitants. On weekends, my friends and I usually take a walk to the historical center of Tomsk, strolling in the town park, on the river Tom bank, the downtown square, and taking pictures. I am happy to have a modern kitchen, bathroom and a cozy room. One may play table tennis with the friends in the hall. In Tomsk I celebrated the traditional Russian holidays, such as Christmas, Shrovetide and Easter. Everything is more expensive here than in China but I am comfortable here anyway, as snug as a bug in a rug. The spring has come here but the trees wouldn't turn green. The air smells of spring. In a beautiful time like this I planted a seed of dream: may all the people (as A.P. Chekhov, the great Russian writer said) become beautiful in everything - the face, the clothes, the soul and the thoughts, as beautiful as the Russian nature. In a couple of months I am going back to China. I am going to miss Tomsk and the local people, kind and passionate, whom I have met. Tomsk is my second Motherland! Last night I saw a star falling and I called to Buddha: may Tomsk grow and prosper day after day, and may friendship between Russia and China grow stronger every day.

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