I have been stuck in Sydney for six years. Before I was never stuck anywhere, so it is interesting—something different. It’s OK. I was forced to embrace the change, but I also wanted to change. Before I was moving too frequently and was also stuck in this movement. Sydney is neutral. I don’t love it or hate it—it’s perfect. Not extreme. I can’t complain.

I teach Russian and it is like a window. It is similar to travelling. I can perceive the world through my students’ goals and ambitions and I can empathise and live through it again; the experience of learning a second language, living in a different country and understanding a different culture. I know what it feels like to make sense of a different culture—I know what they’re going through.

The scent is a positive psychological manipulation. Its goal is to enhance memory and enable one to learn the Russian language. It is the sensation of being challenged and confronted and then transitioning into a more stable and comfortable learning experience.


It begins as an aggressive and spicy scent, like hot chilli. It has a waking up effect that switches on your brain and allows you to focus. Then it transitions abruptly into a strange but pleasant mush of pineapple, mangoes and red-sour-bitter berries—‘ryabina.’ The unpredictable sudden transition is what is most memorable about this scent. It is an authentic unique experience that is different for everyone.


Arina Zinoveva