Quite clearly, I am failing miserably at keeping up with my New Year’s resolution of writing here regularly. I still have six months to improve. In the meantime, here is a small note from a little holiday I went on a month and a half ago.
Russians are very big on their public holidays. They have plenty of them – and 1 May is definitely one of the most prominent ones. Having found myself with a couple of days off I got in the mood for an excursion – and, very unexpectedly, I went to St.Petersburg. Here is what I saw and heard there:
1st May seems to be the day for all kinds of political demonstrations. Here is a pro-Putin rally I have seen on Nevskyi Prospekt, just around the corner from the communists:
I was brave enough to chat a little with the gentleman in a hat. He said they often rally there on weekends and public holidays to protect the fatherland – and such a cause knows no days off. They were distributing pamphlets to convince their audience that some reactionary fractions in the Duma are hindering Putin’s enlightened decisions and – as one of their posters read – that Putin should receive absolute power to lead the country to full prosperity. According to Levada Center, Putin’s approval rating in May was as high as 80%. One could then wander, why are they still there?
St. Petersburg is famous for its gates. Many of them look a little old and rusty, and thus the inhabitants of the buildings behind them hang little signs saying “Gate in use. No parking”. Here is my little collection of those:
P.S. The whole trip to St.Petersburg was completely unplanned, absolutely spontaneous. By the time I decided that I want to go, all the train tickets had been long sold out. I ended up going with blabla car, which turned out to be a bus, which turned out to be a marshrutka. I came back by a blabla car, which turned out to be an uncomfortable minivan. This complete lack of scheduling is what I liked most. There is tingling in my fingers, I want more, that must lead somewhere!