Rivers and Roads

I’ve called Narva the City of Heartbreak on more than one occasion. We know that we’ve suffered sadness, and still will leave a suffering town in our wake, plagued with issues we cannot reconcile. But, uhh, let’s not be negative for this last post!


  • I had the privilege of arguing myself out of a fine (from a gym membership).
  • I tried 5 varieties of ramen in the first week here, ranging from $1.60 to $0.17 a box. And to my delight, the tastiest was the cheapest, and even more savory when on sale for $0.15.
  • I’ve immersed myself well enough for a local taxi driver to hold a grudge against me. Give me another two weeks and I’m sure I could start a war like a real native. (read: colonial imperialist?)

Of course we’ve learned crucial skills, like how to be cheap and courteous in a foreign language when we’re hungry and stressed. I clearly also know how to get my way in Russian, which is honestly, the most important.

People who have not been here, alongside us, may not understand how so much could change in the span of 8 weeks. Maybe, try explaining it as a year’s worth of progress. A lot can change in a year. It’s normal to grow, make decisions you’re not proud of, sever ties, make bonds, and wish you could do it all again or over.

I won’t miss the sadness I’ve seen in this economically and emotionally forsaken city. I’ll take home the hope I have for those I’ve met, to regain happiness anyway they know how. Remember ребята, all the broken hearts in the world still beat.  

– Hélène –


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