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My Life in Tomsk by Nguen Chan Txau

I have been living in Tomsk for over two years now. For me it is a long period full of new sensations and interests. When I came here, I found out there was a whole new life for me in totally new environment. Here, in Tomsk, I no longer can turn for help to my parents and friends who live and study in Vietnam. New cuisine, the dormitory and especially the weather were my major difficulties. Even though I was 19, looking back now I realize I wasn't that much of a grown up yet. Next to the Russian instructors I was a small baby badly needing their help. Back then my friends and I were like babies who went to the TPU as kids in the kindergarten. The Russian instructors have been teaching us everything right from the start: speak Russian, go shopping in groceries, eat properly in a cold weather, etc. Eventually, we did grow up. I have found new friends in Tomsk. As we live and study far away from our homes, we love each other and help one another in everything. At first, I missed my home and my folks tremendously. Eventually, the sense of longing passed a little, thanks to my friends with whom I lived ate, studied and played games. Our friendship grows stronger with each dinner party, each class in the institute, football games and talks over a mug of beer or a glass of vodka. It all is very important to me. I used to think of Tomsk as a small town buried under the snow and freezing cold and, therefore, expected my life to be quiet and dull. However, playing snowballs, skating and, most importantly, love and care of the kind Russians gave me the warmth I needed and drew the winter cold away. And I am very happy when I regale my folks with the stories of my winter life in Tomsk. The summer here is plain beautiful. We usually walk downtown and take quite a few pictures. Occasionally, we go to the countryside on excursions. We are willing to get acquainted with the Russians and learn about their lifestyle, especially in the country. We play football with Russian kids, swim in the river and communicate with foreign students who abound here. It all gives me both familiar and unfamiliar sensations, which on the whole are fantastic. During these two years in Tomsk I learned a lot about life, the world, Russia and Tomsk. I enjoy every day of my life here and I just love the people of Tomsk. Tomsk is my second hometown now!

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