Thursday, 23 August 2012

Before I Go

This is overwhelming...
So, safe to say at the moment I'm pretty terrified. In just over a week I'm flying to St Petersburg, courtesy of Estonian Air, landing at 22.40 Russian time and I'm not coming back for four months. Yippee? 

Despite my initial reservations - about the journey, the weather, the food, money, what to bring, my first accommodation, finding a flat, speaking Russian to actual Russians - I'm actually starting to feel really excited. So, for anyone taking the trouble to read this, here are some things from the month I spent in Kazan' that I hope to see more of, so I can bring you many more beauties and oddities:

Romantic architecture
Russian cuisine
Unflinching obedience
Eccentric taste
Non-EU regulated produce
Mind-boggling matryoshkas
Health and safety? Not in your bed
Or in your hallway. That's a feral dog
A tearoom, please! Not a misleading Italian restaurant
Local customs
Infrastructure equipped for the weather
Local celebrities
The mother of all mosquito bites
Devout Russian orthodoxy (holy water spring)
Patriotism and/or babes
Theatre and other cultural pursuits
A pet monkey. Okay...this probably won't happen again
So, there you go comrades, hopefully a taste of what's to come. I will try to bear this in mind if the going gets tough:

Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.

-Miriam Beard

But please do send me Marmite.