While I was on exchange in Moscow our group tried to go to many of the touristy things. I feel that growing up in Washington, DC has prepared me for such times. While I am excited to go see everything, I am not oblivious to the fact that a tourist area is not a representation of the real culture, as around the monuments in DC. Nonetheless, going to see the Kremlin in the Red Square was exciting.
Before leaving, my host family told me I might want to grab a coat as it could get a little chilly. The day before they had told me the same thing and it hadn’t ended up being that cold. Despite telling them I thought I’d be fine without one, they insisted. Instead, I opened a window and stuck my hand out. Telling them I didn’t think it was that cold, we left.
Now, I was correct about one thing; the temperature outside was not that cold. Unfortunately, the wind was freezing. Additionally, we were not just going to the Kremlin, but all over Red Square. Sometimes we were inside where we could warm up, but most of it was outside walking around in the freezing windchill. I recall being happy we were going down a staircase because it somewhat shielded us from the wind.
The Russian teachers asked me two or three times if I was cold. Unfortunately I was too cold to pull off a convincing ‘no,’ so I had to stick with ‘it’s not too bad.’ Nonetheless, eventually they ended up telling one of the Russian students to give me his coat. He did have a lighter jacket underneath, but I felt awful. My stubbornness caused him to be cold.
I don’t generally think of myself as a stubborn person, so perhaps I learned from this experience. In fact no, I’m not stubborn. There is nothing you can say to convince me otherwise.