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Our Arrival In Russia

Our Arrival in Russia

As we get off our train in St. Petersburg, the sun is slowly disappearing behind the buildings. The St. Petersburg–Finlyandsky station is not in a central location of the city and we soon find ourselves a bit lost, searching for an ATM and the right mode of transport to get to our hotel. After half an hour of walking around, we try to get back in the station to get some info. Because we are trying not to go through security again, we approach the security lady at the entrance.

Me: Izvenotcie

Security Lady: да*

Me: English?

Security Lady: нет

Aline: Euh… We’re looking for tickets for the subway … I mean the bus.

Me: No, it’s the tramway.

Security Lady: Какие?

Aline: We’re trying to buy tickets… tickets, for the tramway.

(I show her a bill of 500 rubles and try – very badly – to mime the movement of the tramway’s wheels)

Security Lady (looking puzzled): Ах! …. Это будет трудно объяснить …

Me: This is going to be hard to explain…

Security Lady: Куда ты хочешь пойти?

Aline: I’ll show her the google itinerary. Maybe that will make it easier.

(The security lady takes a look at Aline’s cellphone)

Security Lady: Ах хорошо. Просто выходите на улицу. Это посреди дороги.

(She points towards the road)

Me: But the tickets? How do you buy the tickets?

(I point the ATM looking machine behind her)

Security Lady (pointing again to the road): Вы платите на борту. Просто заплатите леди.

Aline: I think she’s saying we need to get on the tram to pay.

Me: Ah! Ok.

Aline: Gracias!

Me: Spaciba.

Security Lady (looking relieved): пожалуйста

(We start walking towards the road)

Me: Did you just say thank you in Spanish?

Aline: Maybe… When I listen to other languages, my brain just automatically switches to Spanish!

An hour later – after catching the right tramway and understanding how to pay our tickets – we finally get in our hotel room and drop our luggage, relieved that we’re finally done for the day. After all the countries we’ve visited so far, Russia is completely unfamiliar. We are intrigued by what awaits us during the three weeks we will be traveling through this country.


* I don’t really know what she said but have imagined plausible lines using the rudimentary tool that is Google Translate and my very limited notions of Russian.

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