st. petersburg is, at last count, ten times more attractive than budapest. it helps that today is lovely: blue as an eye, cold as a banker's heart, as my father would say. my father would love this city; i can't imagine why he was so reluctant for me to go. i bought a cute little russian propaganda poster in st. peter and paul's cathedral. the vendor translated half of it for me and i said, I'll take it. something about reading. who knows? it's cool.
anyway, i lucked out once again. on the plane, i was seated precisely next to the person i would have wanted to be seated next to if i'd been the kind of person who wanted things. krissy's in my film class and, oh lordy what a coincidence, good friends with anne. so she and i chatted and laughed and decided to room together, and we've been hanging out since.
yesterday evening a group of us left the hotel moscow to see where our feet took us. that, as it turned out, was down amazingly clean streets into the heart of the commercial district, and more precisely into a spanish style bar/restaurant. two american men behind us were bein' boisterous, carrying on to the indifference of their paid company, two silent russian women. all of a sudden two pitchers of sangria appeared on our table, courtesy of the men, both capitalists in their forties and by that point plastered. we put the free drinks to good use, launching into a marathon game of I Never. a third pitcher supported the first two; undaunted, we polished that off as well. the men requested little in return. in denmark, such a gesture would mean that we'd all have to sleep with him, but i guess luckily they were preoccupied.
despite going in without knowing anyone really, i've been having a good time. the russian princess and i get along better when we don't talk politics. food will be a problem come pesach -- i subsist on breadstuffs as the alternatives mostly consist of meat. but i'll cross that bridge yaddayaddda. meanwhile lots of bus tours, walking tours, taking pictures of gorgeous pastel palaces and onion-domed cathedrals, lots of lectures on peter the great. tonite our first ballet; we see another, Swan Lake in fact, in moscow. i haven't seen a ballet in years. and then they allow us a whopping two and a half hours in the Hermitage, a museum so huge it would take months to see it all.
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