Friday, August 15, 2003

st. petersburg

I am so used to stretching out events in my posts that now I have a serious problem in describing those two weeks in St. Petersburg. It was filled with magic and light and trying to condense my experiences into neat post sized segments would be criminal. So I will stay true to the name of this blog and use these experiences as further points of deparure, a second level if you will.

But first a couple of sites with panaromic views of the city. Here's one of St. Petersburg in the 1820s. I think that the only way to even attempt to capture the beauty of the buildings and the amazing views of the river Neva is through panoramic photography. But I have still to explore online St. Petersburg and maybe some images that do justice to the place will turn up.

So here is a list to start my impressions of the city:
1. Culture clash: startlingly old cars ply the roads along with modern ones
2. Linked buildings with small tunnels acting as alleyways
3. Tourist central: I heard a new language at every turn
4. Mobile toilets: loos on buses. don't know why but maybe it's the fashion now
5. Obsession with Peter the Great. seriously. St Petersburg sells itself and its founder at every corner.
6. Sentences from locals containing the keywords "In the soviet time it used to be......but now it is......". The Soviet influence is almost all but unseen in the center but buildings decorated with Soviet motifs still stand as one moves further away from the river.
7. Coffee is more expensive than beer.
8. Vegetarianism is considered a disease. ok maybe I'm exaggerating a wee bit but one gets pretty tired of salads after a while.
9. Drawbridges
This requires a post of its own but I will just include a mini poem now:
Like the ships wait
for the bridges to open
We wait for them to close

10. must...speak...russian...(just saying the word doesn't help, one must also use the correct pronunciation, else it fails)