Friday, September 21, 2012

In the land of Czares

Getting from the airport to the city center and the hostel, we had our first glimpse of Russian mood and how to (try to) communicate with them..
When entering the bus that would take us to the metro we asked the driver for 3 tickets. Speaking in a furious Russian and pointing to a paper nearby we saw the price was 35Rubles. Not that bad, at least we got to know the price! We wanted to get the tickets, but the driver would just kept nodding his head and saying something that was impossible for us to understand. It was only after a while that someone nearby told us that the payment was done at the end.
So we all came inside... three people with big backpacks in a bus already packed with people. Every time I would turn I would hit something/someone.
At the end we tried to pay all our fares (a total of 105rubles) with a bill of 1000 because, other than that, we only had 100 to give. He wouldn't take it!! We showed them we only had 100rubles but at the same time, Isa found a coin with a 5 on its face. Perfect!!! When I see the 5 I hand it to him with the other 100rubles. But as soon as he takes the coin he grabs it and, literally, throws it away above our heads, and throw us out accepting a payment 5rubles short. We found out later, that the coin was of much less value, similar to our 5cents. But the gesture itself and the whole episode of lacking communication marked, right from the beginning, the tone for the rest. And, in fact, this is NOT a place of smiley people! We were so involved in the spirit that it even affected our pictures' poses.

Our Russian faces

But there is more to it than just serious faces. Saint Petersburg has plenty of Great! Great museums, great buildings, great streets, great canals, great the Peter, Paul and Catherine and all the other Czars who were always named... The Great!

Here I leave you with one of my favorite photos of today.

More photos and stories coming soon :)



  2. Wow! I hope you guys can smile a bit more in the next photos!! Btw, we just killed a pig in Bissau :p