St. Petersburg #1.

So I arrived in Saint Petersburg in the morning, in a huge train station, and I called Katja, the girl whom I had contacted on the couchsurfing network. It was quite easy to find my way around the city, since there are only four subway lines, neatly intertwined around four large ploshads (squares). So I took the metro, and was amazed by the deep tunnels. Later I was told that it was constructed by the military to endure a nuclear attack, and several stations had large metal doors and bunkers.

I got a warm welcome by Katja’s boyfriend Max, a very kind cinematographer and we had some sweet Georgian wine in the living room. Georgian wine, you say? Well, you cannot buy it in a Russian supermarket these days, for obvious reasons. But Max brought it from Latvia. I rested a little from my long trainride, which had been tiring despite of the long hours lying down on the bunk bed.

At night we went to a small bar that was founded by a German girl called Anke, and combined a bar with a laundry saloon, thus providing enjoyable waiting hours to its customers. It was a brilliant idea, and the bar was still vibrant, but the band that played could not really excite us. A common guitar riff accompanied by a man in a scream-mask drumming on plastic containers.

In the next bar the music was much better. It was Russian dub, and I saw musicians who could not have been more authentic. A man with long blond hair and large sunglasses swung his head, a cunning keyboarder and a very manly guitarist just gave the atmosphere that extra something. It sounded very cool. I was hungry and had some Russian fishsoup. The blond girl next to me told me she liked me, and, well, after the concert we went to her friend’s house, who was a bass guitarist and a lead singer in a band. More on that later. The night was not very young anymore, and we stayed together, listening to Nirvana and the Beatles.

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Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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