Up and Down in St Petersburg

I’m just back from my fifth trip in 12 months to St Petersburg. It was an Up and Down trip in more ways than one -because we took a ride in a helicopter 🙂


Flying in a helicopter above Saint Petersburg.

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And yes , it’s not cheap, but we got it at a much reduced price (2 for 1) thanks to my son’s Russian language negotiating skills. And that was the other Up and Down…

Up, for me, in that each time I go, I understand a bit more of what I hear. For example, I learned that our taxi driver was from Uzbekistan, that hed been in St Petersburg for 10 years, his children liked it here, all his family are here…. I also managed to have a mini conversation with the housekeeper of my apartment, telling her it was my favourite apartment, that I understood why she’d got out of breath climbing up the 4 flights of stairs – it was like doing sport! – that I had already been to the flat in June and that I hoped to see her again in a couple of months…

but the Down is simply, realising just how much I don’t know, just how much I don’t understand. Yet. On the first day we went into a shop to get me a local SIM card. I explained what I wanted, said it was because my UK SIM was too expensive here, but as soon as the Megafon guy started asking questions I had to rely on my son to interpret. (Although I did understand the question the guy asked  me in English “Do you want Big Internet or Small Internet“? 🙂 Big, every time!)

I had a two hour lesson with my wonderful teacher Lilya. We’ve been looking at motion verbs with prefixes  – до, по, при, вы,во, у… and although I am slowly getting there, it does seem much more a struggle than my other languages were. Yes, Russian is harder, but I am suffering from my own excessively high expectations. Once again, I wish I could just chill out a bit. I’ve come a long way in a year – but it’s still not far enough…

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