Menu Close

Daily life of Oryol, Russia (2016)

It’s time for me to visit my Russian hometown Oryol, again. Read some thoughts about coming back and see my view of everyday life here. This is no structured post or guide – just my public diary of the stay here.

Moscow from the plane


Back in Russia, I feel extremely relieved to be back to my roots – for about a year I was missing that and to come here felt like it must feel for the fish to come back into the water after some time outside. Just after arriving, though, I noticed this water I came back to is not this big open pond, but a small aquarium with water.







What do I want to say with it? I am so extremely different from people here in Oryol, it takes a big effort to contain all my emotions. I try to notice which phrases make me want to cry and defend myself and answer in a very aggressive way. It’s phrases like “Yeah, all this being a vegetarian, it will all pass. It’s a phase, right? It’s in now, I’ve heard.” or “Are you actually gonna marry soon?” or “What the heck are you doing in Vienna, all alone, with no family?”. Puh. How to explain your life to people who assume the way they live is the only one possible? So far I try not to give in and give myself up, writing one only thing on my to-do list: Get to know my family and Russia.




My hood in Oryol


I am walking around with my camera, looking at things that catch my eye and trying to capture everyday life.


Things I love about Russia:


The villages are super pretty.

Even though not practical, not pretty, quite chaotic and super far from everywhere (I assume) the villages I saw out of the train looked perfect to me. This is one aspect I cannot explain with logic, I just like how the villages seem. No perfect constructed German or Austrian houses can compete, sorry. They’re just too perfect, I guess.




I love the slight imperfection of everything.

When I arrived at the airport, I chose the wrong line for the passport control. Instead of going all the way back to stand in the other one, I climbed underneath the barriers, like some others. This would be impossible in Germany or Austria – and quite typical here. Every law is made to be broken or slightly changed the way you like it – everything is quite subjective and chaotic and human. And I love it.




Food which is too expensive or hard to get here (which I eat often normally): avocado, nuts, cream cheese and all other kinds of cheese which is not gouda-like, artichoke, kohlrabi, aubergine, red pepper, hummus.





I think most people here live in such houses. They’re terribly hot inside because it’s concrete.





More random thoughts on my half-home country in the next post. What do you think? Have you ever had travels and experiences like mine?




Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

17/07/2016 at 17:18

Interresanter blog, weiter so :)

22/01/2018 at 7:33

Hi Natalia,
I like your blog. Just found by sheer coincidence (I am reading Father and Sons by Turgenev, so I googled Turgenev, noticed he had a good-humored, ironical face, and clicked on the link to Orjol, where he was born, then googled for Orjol /images, and here I am). Your remark about German and Austrian villages being too perfect – that struck a chord. I had exactly the same feeling when I moved from Switzerland to Italy. Maybe there is something that Italy & Italians have in common with Russia & Russians :-)
Oh, and I really like your photos. Not sure why, but they seem “alive” even when you didn’t photograph any people, but only buildings and the countryside. I love those of Rome. Also, do you really check out the metro in every city you go to? That would be something I can understand; I check out supermarkets, however.
Have a lovely day,

Leave a reply