If you've read my previous post, you already know how i ended up here, so i'll skip that part. I have to mention two points though:
1- The Shock: i got when i received the mail about moving the course from Moscow to Tyumen.
2- The Courage: it took me not to cancel it.
What comes into your mind when Siberia is mentioned really? Prisoner camps, severe weather conditions, small towns and not much to see or do. A pretty depressing picture therefore gets drawn in that same mind of yours (and mine).
But...days went by and i made peace with the thought of Tyumen and actually started looking forward to it. Being in Siberia! Tough! Then came the joining instructions proudly telling us that the center is 28Km away from Tyumen, the accommodation is on the territory of the center and there's hardly any transportation to the city...nice!
For people who think it snows severely all the time in Siberia, let me correct that piece of info: Actually due to the geographical location: North and inland, it actually gets below -40 during the winter and above 40 in the summer, nice, huh? But that's the fact.
Then the course began, started making friends from the group, going out, enjoying the great weather at that time (~30C), and discovered that although Tyumen is a small city, a town pretty much, it's not bad at all, it's nice to go around, there's all you need, nice restaurants, entertainment, shopping malls, book shops (which for me is crucial) and so on, i actually enjoyed my week there.
The best part was the river (Tobol i think) and its banks, you had some nice looking russian style cathedrals you can see far ahead of you, and the bridge of lovers where people getting married come and hang a lock on the bridge, write their names on it and throw away the key (a symbol for together for ever). We were wondering: What if they get devorsed later on? :s
And i have to say at this point that the accommodation we got at the training center was really nice too, a room with a bathroom, cleaned for you every day, like a hotel room pretty much (we even had a TV!), there was a common kitchen and dayroom, and it was 5 minutes walk from the classroom and diner :)
So if you end up in a position where Tyumen is one of the only options you can choose, don't worry, it's not as bad as it sounds, actually far better :) And the Russians are nice once you get to know them.