My life in Russia as of May 6th, 2022
One guy I follow on social networks advises that we, ordinary people, keep a diary during those challenging times. One day, these notes will be an invaluable cornucopia of stories giving insight into late Putinism. Or they won't.
Though it seems like there's not so much to be writing about, I'll try.
Prices are soaring, as is the case pretty much everywhere. The government issued an act obliging exporters to sell foreign currency revenue, with the view of keeping the ruble afloat. It seems to be working for the time being, yet there are some caveats. Looks like we're having two kinds of exchange rates, something we haven't seen before. You can buy dollars or euros or whatever on the stock exchange, but you can't withdraw this money from an ATM. If you need cash, you'll have to go to a bank office, and (what a surprise) they'll charge you like 30-40% more. In other words, you can buy $1 for 65 RUB on the stock exchange, but should you need cash, you'll have to pay 100 RUB.
I haven't been laid off, and I still enjoy my salary and my benefits. I'm actively looking for side hustles, yet nothing seems to have sprung up yet. I've been dabbling in SQL and Python. I don't enjoy coding, but at least it gives me some food for thought.
As I was driving home from work, I was thinking about programming languages and foreign languages. Perhaps, I should brush up my very rusty German, but - what for?
Too many "what fors" have been plaguing my mind since I turned 26 or so. Now I'm approaching 30.
Buying a flat in a panel building wasn't the best option. I know, hindsight is 20/20. I'm annoyed with my neighbors who are driving me mad with their music resonating with and reflecting off the walls of my bedroom, with their barking dog scratching the floor. For fuck's sake, I can even hear their tap water running. There seems to be little I can do about it. Insulation is expensive af and won't be as effective as I need it to be. I'm looking forward to buying and rebuilding my own house with a small allotment.
Last week, my wife and me went to a wapiti farm 200 mi away. It was quite an adventure. The place brought me the tranquility and serenity I'd been craving for.
Some rumors have been circulating. Some people say that mass mobilization may be imminent (I hope I won't be charged with "spreading fake news" or shit). Well, there's only one man who knows for sure. Either way, I wasn't drafted into the army back when I was 18. Exempted on health grounds. In Russia, you may be drafted until you are 28; only in the event of a full-scale war will the army reserve (that I'm nonetheless a part of) be called upon.
Life still goes on, however little sense of it I can make.