My first year in Russia was the best I ever had. The only countries that I had visited before my posting to Russia were Bhutan and Myanmar (not counting transits through Nepal and Thailand). When the plane was landing in Moscow, the whole place looked very different (and beautiful, of course), something like the painting below:
I was in a very different land and did not speak a word of Russian. This place was going to be my home for next three years and I looked forward to the stay excitedly.
In a month, I began Russian classes at the Moscow State University. We had very good teachers, who taught us Russian in about 9 months. One winter afternoon, I was sitting alone in the class and looking out of the window. It was a perfect Russian winter day and as I looked out, I thought to myself that this day would pass and I would remember about it nostalgically as years go by. When I think of that moment, I want to reverse time.
I lived near the Moscow State University and from the balcony of my house, I could see the top of the huge University building. The view was amazing.
Driving back home, when entering the boulevard from Leninsky Prospect (the main avenue), I loved the autumn colours that would appear as soon as one made the turn.
And yes, I met my wife during my first year in Russia.