I wanted this to be separate from today's other post because I really wrote that one last night and it wrapped up so nicely I didn't want to mess with it.
Look at your calendar. What is today? November 21! What does that mean? IN EXACTLY 30 DAYS I WILL BE ON A PLANE HOME!!!
Now don't get me wrong. Irkutsk is a nice place. I've enjoyed my time here, even if there have been a few downward plunges. But I'm ready to be back in Texas, eating some TexMex and listening to some good local bands play. If anyone is trying to find me on Christmas Eve, you'll probably succeed if you go see the Texana Dames at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar in Austin. :-D. That is the only concrete plan I've made thus far. Everything else is by ear.
One thing that's kind of bumming me out about being this close to my departure date is the fact that I haven't made it to Mongolia yet. Well, I hate to say it, but I just don't think it's going to happen at this point. For one thing, my visa STILL isn't ready. In fact, my current one expires today, so until I get my passport back from the visa office next Monday, I'm going to be avoiding the cops like the plague (they don't usually mess with European-looking females, but you never know). Even if everything is in order and I get my new visa by next Monday, that's only three weeks before I leave. At this point, it's too close to the end of the semester (and the exams that that entails) for me to go gallivanting off across Central Asia. As much as it pains me to have gotten this far and not be able to get any further, that's life in Russia. It's so close to everything, yet so far away. Grrrrr. It would be one thing if it was my own fault, but it's not. I have the lovely ladies in the international students' office to thank for my troubles. Sigh. C'est la vie and move on, as always.
Anyway, I'm not letting that ruin my happy month-to-go milestone. Can't wait to see you all. Eat lots of turkey for me....