Monday, October 22, 2007

Greetings from St. Petersburg!

OK, we're going to try this and see what happens. First of all, for some reason, I was surprised to log on to Blogger and see everything in Russian, including my profile. Since I can't read Cyrillic, i'm just sort of clicking spaces by memory and figuring out what to do from the graphics I recognize.

I left Saturday and arrived here yesterday (Sunday). It was amazing to ride into St. Petersburg and see how different everything suddenly looked compared to everything on the outskirts. It's quite lovely here with amazing architecture. I haven't visited anywhere yet; I just took a walk with my husband at night in which he tried to orient me a bit, but between jet lag and general confusion I experience when I travel, that just wasn't happening yet.

In addition to the trip, I had just experienced the busiest week of my life. I had a group project including presentation due in my School Media Specialist class on Wednesday night. I had to prepare final exams for my grammar and reading classes, correct those, and calculate and turn in my final grades before I left. I also had to leave plans for Molly, the teacher who is subbing for me for two weeks, as well as syllabi for those courses because it's now the beginning of that session. That's in addition to preparations I had to make for the trip, including some items I had to round up for my husband (among them,half-inch sticky dots, which I thought would be the easiest thing...but no. Quarter-inch, three-quarters, no problem, but half-inch proved more elusive).

The biggest thing I noticed is that the majority of people walking about in the evening seemed young, fit, and very nicely dressed, so I was glad it was kind of dark because I was looking very travel-weary and not young, fit, nor particualarly nicely dressed (having pretty much been wearing the same thing for almost 24 hours and just too damn tired to change.)

The place we are staying is within walking distance of the Hermitage (I have now seen the exterior) and some historical churches. There were some people singing in the street when we took a walk, and my husband tells me that's not unusual. I heard some music playing as we passed one building. It was American: What a Wonderful World, which I had actually heard on the radio in the apartment earlier.

I am kind of proud of this: this is the second time I met my husband somewhere, flying on my own. This is the kind of thing that used to be very anxiety-provoking for me. It still is a bit, but not nearly as much as it used to be. I've discovered there are very predictable events in terms of the flight (although I made a point of selecting a flight that connected in Amsterdam rather than Paris since I have now been in that airport. That results in similar meals, etc.) once I have actually visited some places, I will update.

(About my last strange, out-of-context entry: I was trying to show my brother how to set up a blog so he will stop sending 10,000 e-mails a week. Someday I will modify and contextualize it).


poet~lover~rebel~spy said...

Enjoy your visit to Russia. Will you be there long enough to take a trip to Novgorod? I recommend it highly. Buses leave from the bus station (Obvodni kanal?) hourly. It is possible to visit as a day trip.

Mary said...

I'm only here for a few more days, but I'm going to encourage my husband (who is here for a month- and-a half longer)to get a group together to take that trip so he can report to me.(His co-workers have either been on a business trip or on their own vacations). We're a little leery about wandering off by ourselves in case we encounter any problems.