Thursday, June 5, 2008
Life in St. Petersburg
After a very long and sleepless set of flights, I am in St. Petersburg. I love it. My host mom is a gas. She's young, probably mid 40s, and when I met her she was wearing Prada sneakers. I was like, "Yeeees, a woman after my own heart!" She has a cute little apartment, and her son lives with her. I haven't met him yet, I'll meet him tonight. He's a businessman, and works for an American company. My room has a bed, a desk and a television as well as two chairs. It's nice. Simple, but very nice.
Every morning she makes me tea, and sets aside a yogurt and pastry for me. Very sweet. My first night she opened a bottle of red wine and we sat around in our bathrobes eating brie and sliced apples.
Let's see what else? Classes are going well. I understand pretty much everything the teachers say. hahaha, that might be a sign that classes are too easy. They have my passport for registration, it makes me nervous walking around with it. I get my student id tomorrow, which means I get free entry into the museums. I cannot wait for that.
The beginning of the White Nights has already messed with my mind. My first night here I went to bed at 10pm because I was so exhausted. At 12 I shot out of bed to see how light it was out. "OH MY GOD!" I thought, "I'm late for class!" I started running around my bedroom, getting ready for class, and then I got a better look outside. I assumed it was cloudy out, nope, on better inspection, I realized that it was 12 *midnight*
Nevsky Prospet (the main avenue in the city) looks very different than it did 5 years ago. Gone are all the blackmarket CD and DVD stores, and in their place are Chloe, D&G, Prada, Gucci, etc. I guess that's a sign that the economy is picking up, but it's sort of sad because those old stores were fun. Also oodles of construction. So much construction that I can't recognize most of the buildings because they're covered in netting.
I made two new friends yesterday. I was in a bookstore yesterday and I heard a girl in English asking where she could buy a phone card. I went over to help. She's from Germany, and the guy was from New Zealand. They were staying at the same hostel together, and neither spoke any Russian (brave!) I helped them out, and we ended up walking around together for a few hours yesterday. Eva is from Frankfurt, one of my stops on my Grand European Adventure, so if she's around, I'm going to email her and let her know when I'm there. We all exchanged facebook info so we can share pictures. It was a fun time, and good practice with just meeting random strangers for my GEA in August.
I've eaten a bunch of great food. Shashlik (shish kebobs) and blini (crepes!) mostly. Delicious stuff all around. I'm going to be eating my way around Russia and Europe, there's pretty much no doubt about that.