St. Petersburg is cold. Really, really cold. And due to the freezing temperatures, there are enormous, monstrosities of icicles that form on the roof tops. Usually, the people cleaning the streets are good about blocking off sections of the sidewalk where there are huge ice blocks just waiting to plummet onto some poor, unsuspecting person. However, they don’t cordon off all dangerous places, so it’s not unusual to hear of someone dying from being literally shishkebabed by ice. A truly Russian death, if I do say so myself.
I’m loving St. Petersburg, I really am. I can walk past Pushkin’s apartment (Moika 12!) or Anna Akhmatova’s apartment or even the famous Bronze Horseman. I can make faces at the people dressed up as Peter and Catherine the Great, and they have to deal with my childish behavior because it’s part of their job. Hell, I can even retrace Raskolnikov’s steps to the pawnbroker if I wanted to (and you know I will because I’m a numero uno dorkus.)
But having to be careful all the time is starting to grow extremely weary. “Be careful of falling icicles.” “Be careful of buses! It’s slippery outside and they can run you over.” “Be careful of Russian men.” “Be careful while you’re crossing the street – Russian drivers will kill you.” “Be careful, be careful, be careful.
To be honest, it’s been tough getting used to the pace of life here. I never thought I’d have trouble adjusting, but I am. For example, I hand washed my laundry the other day – something that I never had to do before. I failed miserably – my clothes are as hard as bricks. My underwear is as comfortable as sandpapery cardboard and my woolen socks feel like they have needles sewn into them. I have to get used to the fact that there’s no real set bus schedule. I have to get used to the fact that it’s going to take twice as long to get somewhere than it would in America. And, for the love of God, I have to get used to the fact that there is not a single granola bar in this entire, ridiculously vast, 11-freaking-time-zones country (I knew I was in trouble when I tried to look up the word granola in my hefty Russian-English dictionary and couldn’t find it.)
But, for what it is worth, this is the experience of living in another country. I know I may complain a lot, and I know I may describe Russia as a perverse, backwards country. However, historically and culturally, Russia has so much to offer that I need to take advantage of it all. I’m truly glad that I’m here…at least, that’s what I keep telling myself.
*I also need to get used to the fact that Russians have an unhealthy obsession with techno music. They blast it all the time, anytime – from sun up to sun down. Any time, any place, it’s apparently techno music time. It’s like I’m living in a subwoofer.
I don't use a fork to eat anymore.