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I wonder if every Russian lives a life that is as full as Valentina’s? Everyday we spend 12-14 hours doing tourist stuff. You can fit a lot into 14 hours when you work at it and we’ve worked at it.

So I shall embark on a textual revisiting of the events. At least until I get bored of the whole affair.

Yesterday morning we got to sleep in to the ripe old time of 9am. We ate a bit of breakfast and headed off to the city to see the winder palace. Which is a rather grand old thing. Lots of gold and stautes who have lost, or are in the process of losing, their clothes. Russians these days have more luck keeping their clothes on.

Speaking of Russian fashion, I think that it’s mostly originating in the early nineties. It’s weird, I look at people and think, you need new clothes. But they’re probably looking at me thinking “You think that’s cool? Adidas tracksuit pants and oversized singlets, that’s cool.” And I haven’t seen so much leopard print clothing since leaving Brighton le Sands. I don’t actually know if there is a lot of leopard print clothing in Brighton le Sands, but if anywhere in Sydney was the leopard print centre, I reckon Brighton le Sands would be it. It’s got that smell too it.

Also of interest is the hair cuts. Mullets are in for guys and girls. The guys mullets aren’t the metro-mullet, these are the Westie mullets. Or the guys go for the shaved head or the shaved head with the fringe. I’ve decided to move here when I get so bald my only option is the number 1 all over too.

I’m not sure how Russian fashion got to be what it is. It could be that they’re still catching up from the nineties or that they’ve just been existing in a parallel fashion universe the rest of the world. Or Sydney at least, cause I’m not so up on fashion in Ghana say.

Gosh what was I saying? Winter Palace. Nice. Those Czars had way to much money though.

The Hermitage was next because that’s same building as the Winter Palace, or at least I think it is. They have two names but they seem to be the same place. The Hermitage has lots of paintings. Lots of paintings. The first thing I saw was “The Prodigal Son” by Rembrant which captivated me for about 10 minutes. I was enjoying the paintings for a while but by the time we discovered there was a second floor, I gave up. I went and fell asleep somewhere in a corner amongst the Picassos and the Matises. It was very restful, sleeping in a palace.

After the palace was a boat ride with another guide speaking in Russian again. I didn’t learn much but St Petersburg has nice rivers and buildings and strange sunbathing habits. They’ll sunbake anywhere where there’s water. There’s a murky pondish thing in an overgrown empty lot full of building refuse on the way to our unit from the Metro, and I saw people sunbaking there. Strange. I don’t like sunbaking let alone doing it in a tip.

Don’t let me seem like I don’t like the Russians. I think I just don’t quite get them yet.

Oh gosh I’m a long way in and I’m still stuck on a boat. I feel a little like Noah. No I don’t. That was a lie.

At night we went to see the Opera. It was in the World Famous Marinsky Theatre. A very nice theatre. We went to see Nabuco by Verdi. It was in Italian with Russian subtitles. I did enjoy the experience, but Opera’s not my thing. At least I can say I’ve been to the Marinsky now. I bet you’re all jealous.

Today was another bright and early almost 9am wake up. We were off to church this morning. We went to the only Anglican Church in St Petersburg, maybe even Russia. It’s in the Diocese of Europe. Which is rather large considering the church at home is in the Diocese of Sydney.

It was fun being in an Anglican Church, they all spoke English and used the prayer book. It was like a taste of home. I did enjoy the feeling of knowing what I was doing and what was going on for at least 2 hours. There was a visiting American Choir there who were great. I love Americans and they sang really good. The church we were in used to be a sports hall. We had church on a basketball court that used to a church, if that makes sense.

Today we went to a fort and saw a helicopter take off. I like helicopters, they’re loud, and make a lot of wind. Especially if you’re just 20 metres from it, which we were.

Tonight we went to see a jazz band, The Harlem Jazz and Blues Band. They were lots of fun. They were all old, black and full of good music. I love jazz.

Before the show I had my first Russian Vodka. They were giving out free. It’s like water perhaps. Although it doesn’t taste like water, nor does it have the same effect. And water doesn’t make you feel Russian.

So that’s two condensed days. I forgot to mention that we looked inside two massive cathedrals too. But you can’t talk about everything. I would like to sleep.