"Russia is a riddle wrapped in an enigma."
This quote was from Winston Churchill during WW2. I am about to see a bit more of this riddle with my new job and see a different area of Russia. On Monday I fly out to Perm to start a new position as a Governess for a family with seven children between the ages fourteen and eight months (six of them boys!). Just call me Maria!
Actually I am mainly responsible for the seven year old girl and to help her with English and Music. She plays the violin. I am looking forward to using my musical knowledge and it will be interesting to compare what the children of rich Russians are like when they don't come from Moscow. It is a live out position and my apartment is only fifteen mins from the family house in the centre.
The main question I get asked when I tell anybody I am going to Perm is "where?" I try to tell them it is two hours from Moscow by plane or that its near the Ural mountains (still lots of blank looks) then I usually triumph when I mention it is on the Tran-Siberian Express route, but even this gets blank looks so I revert to "Its near Siberia" and even the geographically challenged nod.
So what is Perm like? It is certainly not in the back of beyond. Its a major hub on the Trans-Siberian Express route. It has an amazing modern art scene and one of the top ballet/opera companies after the Bolshoi and Marinsky is based there.
Here is an introduction about Perm from www.uraltourism.com/perm.php and a few pictures:
Perm is the most Eastern city of Europe, and therefore its province is often referred to as Eurasia. Having a population of 1.2 million, Perm' is the 6th largest city in Russia and the second largest in the Urals. The city was formerly called Molotov, after the minister of foreign affairs during Joseph Stalin's ruling. Perm stretches 65kms along the impressive Kama River - Europe's 4th largest river by length. The Perm province, "Permskaya Oblast", or "Prikamye", is around two-third the size of the United Kingdom and covers a great area in the very heart of the Ural Mountains.