So far I’m coming to the end of Day 3 in St. Petersburg and it’s been a roller coaster ride already. I am in constant awe of the city, of hearing Russian all around me, of the different culture, of the new things I’m learning…it’s almost like information overload. I’m in love not necessarily just with the experience of being in St. Pete but also like the experience of being somewhere completely new. As a person I always know that I’m someone who thrives on high stress and high stimulation, and I’m certainly getting overloaded on that end here (but in a totally different way than my usual “30 credits a term” in college kind of overload).
One thing I know for sure is that I’m very excited to get to meet Russian students and talk more with Russian people outside my American group. I felt so empowered today talking to my Russian host mother. Her name is Rita and we live on Vasilyevsky Island. She is the kindest, warmest soul and was so forgiving to my broken Russian—eager to gently correct my grammar or supplement my vocabulary or give me encouragement! In truth I think I understood 70% of what she was saying, but I was so proud to be able to thoroughly engage with that 70% comprehension especially because we talked about A LOT of things from Dostoevsky to politics to childhood to Russian film stars for literally hours… Also I have learned so much new vocabulary!
Tomorrow I’m headed on a bus tour of the city so I’m looking forward to getting some pictures to share with all of you, but for now I’m ready to sleep (& my brain is very confused having just switched out of Russian mode to write all this in English!?).