Having just concluded my second year of teaching, it is only fitting for me to dedicate this next Awesome Person post to one of my students. But since I have several (and many of which happen to be awesome), it was a difficult choice for me to make. That was, however, until one of them gifted me a bottle of homemade самагон (very strong Russian plum brandy) to have for my mother's and brother's visit to Moscow. So, as a thanks for helping them experience the local culture (and being generally awesome overall, this one goes out to Eugene (Евгений).
Normally, I never enjoyed working in the morning, and when my first class of the day usually began, I was still tired and my caffeine dosage had yet to set in. One of the last things I wanted to do was flip into work mode. That was, however, until I started taking on Wednesday and Friday classes and Eugene's humor came into play (as seen in the photo above). Whether it writing satirical stories recommending cannibalism to curb healthcare costs (actually happened) or just making jokes about the bizarre world around us, I couldn't go through a lesson without laughing.
But aside from the humor, Eugene champions the hobo mentality better than practically anyone. When going to Sochi (24 hour drive from Moscow), Eugene hitched rides from three different drivers, and the next day he was relaxing on the shores of the Black Sea. Even recently, he had the idea of riding a motorcycle. So therefore, he took lessons in the freezing rain of Russia's spring, passed all the tests despite the questionable ethics of Moscow's DMV, and by the summer, he had himself a motorcycle. Now, whenever the chaos of the city gets too much, he takes a ride out to the country to spend and spends a weekend in a tent.
On top of this, he is one of those guys who'll always have your back if you're a friend. For example, I was considering (and still am) doing the full Trans-Siberian Railroad. When I mentioned this to Eugene, he instantly contacted everyone he knew en route and made sure I'd have places to stay for free along the way. Surprised by the gesture, I promptly thanked him, but he nonchalantly replied, "We are friends, and these are my friends. They will treat you like family, just as they do for me." For Eugene, there was no second thought. We were friends and he was going to make sure I will be well taken care of whenever I do the journey.
Be like Eugene: Make jokes, help friends and live for the next adventure no matter what the circumstances.