What is your favourite quotation, and why? “Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?” by Friedrich Nietzsche is my favourite quote because I believe that there is always something interesting to do and to think about in life.
What is the most interesting thing about teaching English? For me, it is meeting many interesting new people and helping them improve their skills along the way.
What do you like about Russia? I really like the people, I find them interesting and quite helpful. I didn’t think everyday people would be as open as they have been towards me.
Why did you choose the profession of a language teacher? I wanted to be able to help people reach their goals. Learning English is a gateway into other fields, why not help someone get to that place by being a piece of the puzzle?
Do you like Moscow? Have you visited any Russian cities besides Moscow? I am really enjoying Moscow so far, much more than I thought I would. It isn’t as hectic as I thought it would be. I arrived only in August (2017), so I haven’t had much time to venture into other cities, however I plan on visiting at least a few other cities as soon as I get the opportunity. St. Petersburg is definitely on the list.
Please, tell us about your hometown. Compare it with Moscow. The last five years before coming to Moscow, I’ve lived in Toronto, so let’s compare these two cities. In terms of climate, both cities are pretty much the same. The winters can be really harsh in Toronto; sometimes it can get to -40C (with the wind-chill factor). I’d say Toronto has more sunny days, whereas Moscow is gloomier. Both cities are big, but I don’t think Toronto can truly compare to Moscow in that regard. The metro in Moscow functions magnificently, while the transit in Toronto is pretty bad for such a populous city. There is definitely more to do here in terms of art and culture, and I feel that the people here are friendlier – even though it is one of the most populous cities, Moscow feels like a small community to me. One thing I miss about Toronto is the waterfront biking, and ability to do a lot of fun things on Toronto Island.
Which countries you’ve visited (besides Russia) you found interesting? Why? I’ve been to the United States, England, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Greece, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and all the former Yugoslav countries. Let’s choose one: Germany. I stayed in Dresden for about a month when I was learning German, and fell in love with the city. I really appreciated the way they rebuilt the centre after the war – back to the way it used to be, instead of building something modern and without identity. The city has a specific charm to it, and the outskirts are absolutely breathtaking – there is a reason that part is called the “Saxon Switzerland” (Sächsische Schweiz).
Do you have a motto? I know it might be a little cheesy, but it is simple: Just Do It. I often hesitate to do things, and then I think to myself: why? Just go forward with your plans, do what you think you can't do!
What is your favourite place in the world? My favourite place in the world is located in northern Montenegro – Durmitor National Park.