My trip started off 3 days after leaving Paris. I had barely had time to get my head around the fact that I was no longer living in a country where I could buy good, cheap cheese before I had flown to a country that sells cheese in plastic formation. I definitely should’ve stuffed some Camembert into my suitcase whilst I still had the chance. Having lived in France for 7 months it’s fair to say that Russian wasn’t so fresh in my head when I arrived. My first conversation with my two Russian flatmates involved me sitting and pretending to listen to them until eventually I accepted the fact that I didn’t have a clue what they were on about and decided to play with the dogs instead. That’s right, I am living in a small flat with not one but two dogs. I had joked before coming here that I would like a chihuahua as I personally never ever intend on owning one but for a month it would provide me with a lot of entertainment. Well, joke’s on me as I walked into the flat and what is yapping away at my heels but none other than a chihuahua and it’s older and ever so slightly less annoying little doggy friend. I soon figured out that actually the chihuahua wouldn’t provide me with any entertainment at all as it is the yappiest dog I have ever met and it doesn’t even have any costumes!!! To all those chihuahua owners in the world, this is my message to you – If you’re going to own a chihuahua then you need to make a proper effort and buy the outfits if you want to be taken seriously. Otherwise, I just don’t see the point in owning such a small yappy dog. Dress it up as a rabbit or in a raincoat and welly boots or something. Be inventive.
After unpacking my bags I decided it was time to find out what the shops near me were like so off I popped on a nice evening stroll through the park to the main shopping street. I’m living right on the outskirts of town so the St Petersburg where I live and the St Petersburg where I spend my daytimes walking around are 2 completely different places. I found myself on a high street made up of purpose built, pop-up looking shops and grannies selling everything from socks to vegetables to baby turtles on the side of the street and in the underpass. Kittens are a daily occurence on my way to the metro and my will power is becoming extremely strong having to walk past them every day and not jumping at the offer to buy one for the grand sum of $3. After this first shopping trip I was making my way back through the park to the apartment when I looked up and had such a Russia moment – I was glancing around me and suddenly realised that I didn’t know which apartment block was mine, I was staring at a sea of concrete buildings. All I could do was laugh. Welcome to Russia!