Sunday, June 19, 2005

Sleepy Sleeperson

St. Petersburg, Russia

It's 14:30 in St. Petersburg. I got up about an hour ago, and Mike is still passed out in his undersized bed. We went out last night with our friend Angela to the Metro Club, somehwere near the southeastern end of St. Petersburg.

Angela is a local college student who I "know" through a very tenuous connection. Raisa is a woman who I used to work with at Nanostream. Angela is Raisa's husband's sister's daughter (AKA niece-in-law). Anyway, Raisa had always known about the trip, and frequently mentioned that I should get in contact with her family in St. Petersburg when I got there. I guess she keeps up with the blog, because a couple of days ago, she emailed me to give me Angela's contact information, so we could have a resident show us around.

And show us around she did. All yesterday, Angela and her mother (whose name I forget. Damnit.) met us at the Gorkovskaya metro stop at 14:00 yesterday, and walked us around St. Petersburg, showing us the sights: Cathedrals, Peter and Paul's Fortress, the Hermitage, the Winter Palace, more cathedrals. We also took a relaxing boat ride around the rivers and canals of the city. It was a warm and pleasant afternoon. The soft drone of the tour guide washed over me as the city lazily floated by, and I was sitting next to a very cute girl who would occasionally lean over to tell me about the city with an adorable Russian accent. It was rough. The rest of the day was taken up by dinner and a long walk home.

That night, we went out with Angela to the club. Interesting. The whole scene reminded me of my early clubbing days. The music was loud (if a bit dated), and the crowd was young, but nobody seemed to know what to do on the dance floor. There was a lot of rocking back and forth with big smiles. But, it was kind of a blast from the past, and there was drinking, so it was fun. Around 5:00, my right knee started bothering me, though, so we had to leave.

On the ride home in the taxi, we saw the aftermath of a horrendous accident. I'm guessing some drunk guy just lost control and plowed his car into a huge tree. The cars here are small, so the tree won. Big time. Plus, it seems that nobody wears seat belts in this country. The taxi driver stopped and asked one of the gawkers what happened. Angela then informed us that there were two "funerals", and one person injured. Quite a way to end the day.

Update (6/22/05 Jason): It turns out I had things mixed up the whole time. I had always thought that Raima was Raisa's husband. It turns out that Raima is just another way of saying Raisa. So, Angela is Raisa/Raima's sister's daughter (niece). And her mother's name is Ludmilla.


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