St. Petersburg!!!

Posted on September 5th, 2010 by

Okay, so, I’ve been in St. Petersburg for about a week and a half and it has been amazing in so many ways (good, bad, unbelievable, etc.)! There are so many things that I have experienced in such a short amount of time. It actually feels like I’ve been here for a month and not only a week and a half. Well, when I first arrived at the airport I was extremely tired from my 16 hour flight (and only about 2 hours of actual sleep on the various flights) and just wanted to sleep. We got to the hotel and went through a pretty simple orientation. We only went out of the hotel one day, the other 2 days were adjusting and being dropped off at our host family’s houses. I was in a group with people spread out about the city, so it took me 4 1/2 hours to actually get to my host family. I was nervous to meet them, but when I got there, I was magically no longer nervous (probably because they said I spoke Russian pretty well ^^). I have a host mother, father and sister (12 years old). I live in an apartment, which is something that I’m not used to, but it’s not bad. The scariest part about first arriving here was actually interacting with people on the street and in stores and riding the metro. Now that I’ve actually done that a few times, it’s not so bad. I ride the metro pretty much everywhere and walk the rest (like I say, I’m going to have the strongest legs in the world when I get back). Also, women here wear ridiculously high heels everywhere, all the time. I tried it one day with low heels and my feet died. I don’t know how Russian women can do it everyday! (Granted, there are some people here who wear no heels, like me.) Also, fishnet stockings are a pretty hot commodity here. I have seen many women wearing them. It’s interesting, to say the least. Another weird cultural difference is that Russians rarely smile on the street, unless they’re with friends. This is a total 180 from Gustavus, but something that I’m adjusting to. I have had school this past week and was placed in language level number 2 of 9 (this means that all of my classes are in Russian). I have long days of school (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.), but not that much homework outside of classes, it’s more intensive in class. I have only made a couple of Russian friends, but, then again, I’ve only been here a week and a half, so, I have time. We went to Pavlovsk (a suburb of St. Petersburg) yesterday where the summer palace of Emperor Paul the first and it was gorgeous! The weather was also beautiful, слава Богу (thank God)! Unfortunately, my camera’s batteries decided to run out of juice before I could take a picture of the actual palace. Oh well, it’s Russia. And to finish on that note…

On Friday I was riding the metro home from school and wearing my black ballet flats. When I get off at my first stop to switch lines, all of a sudden I feel that I don’t have my left shoe anymore. I looked behind me to see if it was still in the metro car, but it was nowhere to be found. This means it fell onto the tracks and probably got run over by a billion trains. So, I was shoeless going to my next line! I was so embarrassed. I just tried to hide my foot and hoped that no one noticed. Then, I ran into my friends at my next stop and told them that I had lost my shoe in the metro, so, one of my friends gave me his sock so that I wouldn’t have to walk home barefoot. It looked ridiculous, but it was way better than nothing! So, I walked the 15 minutes after I got off the metro to my home in a ballet flat and a sopping wet black sock (oh yeah, it was raining, too). Oh man, talk about an experience. :)


One Comment

  1. Sam Hemmerich says:

    shoeless and fearless…Sounds like allison!