Thursday, October 16, 2008

Where the Internet and Real Life Meet


When I first created my blog, I had to decide whether to keep my blog private -- viewable only by those I personally invited -- or public. As I thought about it, some people I knew asked me why I would even consider opening up about my family's life to the public at large. 

"Would anyone else actually be interested in it?"

"What kind of people would read it? Are they people we would want to know about our life?"

"Do you really think you would make friends with anyone over the internet -- real friends? Wouldn't it just be a waste of time?"

Well... You've certainly proved to me that the answers are "Yes, yes, yes!"

It has been a pleasure to spend time during the last two weeks with Dina, my new friend in Moscow who found my blog while living in Niamey, Niger. My blog helped her family as they prepared for their next assignment in the Foreign Service. Through each other's blogs, I learned about an area of Africa that I hadn't even realized existed! (I had been mistakenly confusing Niger and Nigeria). Through my blog, Dina learned about aspects of life in Moscow that made their transition to life here easier. 

Most importantly, through our blogs we have become friends. As I hung out in Dina's house yesterday with her husband and kids, we commented on how strange it is to meet someone through blogging: we already know so much about each other's families and lives that the day you actually meet in person is merely a formality. You immediately jump into "old friends" mode. 

Dina and my friendship will have an added bonus for you, my readers; we're going to combine forces to create another blog: Daily Photo Moscow. Neither of us felt up to it individually... but as a team? Here we come! Check out Dina's "Daily Photo Niger" blog; her talent as a photographer is tremendous and I can't wait to see the city through her eyes and lens. 

I took the picture at the top of this entry as Dina and I walked back to her house when we first met two weeks ago. They see this building from their front door! I wish I had taken more pictures that day; I took her on a whirlwind tour of the city by foot: from the US embassy to the Old Arbat (she laughed at Starbucks when I was greeted by name), along Nikitsky Bulvar to Bolshaya Nikitskaya (past the Chaikovsky Conservatory) to Red Square, through GUM to the Bolshoi Theater (where she bought tickets for the ballet Giselle in November), along Tverskaya to Pushkin Square (where we had an amazing lunch at Cafe Pushkin), back along Tverskaya to the Garden Ring Road (stopping at Volkonsky Bakery--where Olympic gold medalist tennis star Elena Dementeva was behind us in line) and back to the US Embassy. Whew! It was sooo much fun to point out all the little things you wouldn't necessarily know if you walked by on your own, new to the city.

I'm so glad I chose to make this blog public; it's a pleasure "knowing" all of you new friends whom I would never have met otherwise. As for you "old" friends who would have been reading this anyway, I love you, too!

12 comments:

Rachael said...

I'm glad you decided to blog too! We'd have never been able to keep up our friendship as well as we have, you know?

Carey and Norman said...

How wonderful. Now, I wish I would have contacted you when we came to Moscow last September and this past March. I felt that I read your blog and knew you (I loved seeing your recommendations for us travelers), but I didn't expect you to keep up with all the adoptive families that come through. What a wonderful friendship you've made in Dina.

Love, love, love the fall photos of Moscow. Beautiful!

Carey
russianfairytale

Christine said...

I look forward to the new blog. It will nice to see Moscow from my living room.

Gala said...

Hi,

I found your blog a few weeks ago and really enjoy it!

I'm originally from Ukraine and moved to the US over 10 years ago. My aunt lives in suburban Moscow and when I was little I used to visit her every year during summer school break and we would spend a lot of time in Moscow.

I didn't realize how much I miss Russia and Ukraine and how much they've changed untill I started reading your blog.

Thank you!
Gala

Annie said...

How nice! I was clamoring for that "Daily Photo Moscow" as you know....

Anonymous said...

Glad you had such a nice time with Dina. I've found that more and more people are enjoying getting to know people in a written format. I've enjoyed this activity for the last 35 years via having "penpals." It's funny because people used to act like having a penpal was so "quaint" and now they're enjoying pretty much the exact same thing, just in a faster format via email & blogs.

Lynne

Anonymous said...

It is nice to hear that open blog worked so well for you.
I had my misgivings and worries about yours and Katya's blog being open. It took me a while to warm up to the idea.
Olga

Tina in CT said...

Hi Lynne,

Great to see your comment.

Tina in CT said...

Olga,

I still worry about the blogging and giving too much information. At times I've emailed or called and voiced my concern and she's been good about removing things.

Tina

Tami said...

How fun! Getting to meet a blogging buddy and starting a new and interesting blog! :) I've got you in Google Reader! :)

Tina in CT said...

We have both made friends through your blogging. I still do worry about weirdos that are out there though.

Your mother

MamaPoRuski said...

I have met more friends through blogging. It is nice to find people with similar interests and learn new things! I love your posts about live in Russia!