St. Petersburg (Tue) 4 May 2010 (II)

Felt a bit better after my first proper meal in two days.

Russian bread is weird. They’re black and firm, with a vinegar-ish bite to it. They’re also always in small slices.

They are to me like the stale bread at home that I would refuse to touch. But I was so hungry I ate it all up.

The borscht is also nothing like any borscht I’ve had before. It’s made with lots of thin slivers of beetroot, some slivers of beef, with a dollop of sour cream and lots of dill sprinkled on top. It’s delicious though!

At the same time, I’ve found out that people can still smoke in restaurants here. It seems like a lifetime ago when the smoking ban was first enforced…

Picked up a St. Petersburg Times, a flimsy freebie aimed at English-speakers. A small article announces that the river is Moscow is crawling with 10-centimeter albino cockroaches – and that was announced by the Moscow Mayor! Great! Something to look forward to in Moscow!

I’ve always wanted to learn Russian. Not anymore. I realise my experiences in a country really affects my ability to learn the language. I was in Indonesia for four years and yet can’t speak a word of Indonesian, which I am quite ashamed of, but at the same time, I hated that place.

It’s very hard to exchange my GBP here. No bank would accept it. Not even Citibank! Everyone takes only US Dollars or Euros. It’s such a pain in the arse! So if you are planning on going to Russia, take note.

I’ve managed to get in touch with someone at the hostel who speaks English. She called the immigration department. I apparently don’t need a migration card afterall. I felt like going downstairs to scream at the receptionist.

I don’t know why I thought I could survive by spending just GBP10 a day. I’ve used up GBP24 today. Looks like I’ve grossly underestimated my ability to spend…

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