rm_kelli4u2dew 42F
7028 posts
3/20/2006 7:30 am

Last Read:
12/18/2006 4:44 am


We get up at the crack of dawn, which in St. Pete this time of year is about 8 a.m. It’s cloudy outside, but the snow isn’t falling too heavily. We might see some sky today, though it’s supposed to snow the whole time we’re here.

Luda is going to come by to take us shopping. We go out to get breakfast at the internet café. W is awake enough today to really notice the buildings. I’m worried she’s going to run into something or step off in traffic, as she isn’t watching where she’s going. After awhile, she mentions that I really wasn’t bullshitting her about they way women dress.

Russian women put on make up and heels to take out the trash. You will never see a woman here go out in sweats with her hair in rollers. I read somewhere that a working girl in Russia (not THAT kind of working girl) spends about ½ her monthly salary on cosmetics and clothes. Watching one of them running for a bus wearing boots with 4” heels, W suggests that Russia would take the gold medal for high-heel races at the winter Olympics.

We go to a couple of shops to get some food, and W gets her first taste of shopping Russian style. There’s the shop with bread and meat and cheese, smetana and tvorog (Russian sour cream and farmer’s cheese). Then there’s the shop (pererestrok) for water, beer, juice, milk and other canned goods, flour, etc. Buy some frozen pelmeni (sorta like raviolis or tortelinis). You don’t just pick up what you want and pay. You go around and figure out what you want, get prices for the quantity, then go pay, they give you a receipt, then you go collect your stuff. Luckily in St. Pete a lot of people speak English, or are used to foreigners. My Russian is almost nonexistent. Mostly I point. If they wanted to rip me off, it would be easy.

Go back to the flat, and Luda arrives early. She helps us fix breakfast and tea, we eat, then off to go shopping. First is to five shops that sell shoes. Luda isn’t happy with the quality at a couple of shops, the prices at two more. Finally we find a place that has what she’s looking for, and W and I each buy a pair of insulated calf-high boots with 7 cm heels (3”. W is dubious about the heels, but Luda is firm. She must dress appropriately or people will think Americans have no class. At least the heels are fairly sturdy, not stilettos. They’re Italian, cost us 1600 rubles, about 50 Euros.

While we’re looking for shoes, we go through a mall that has furs. We look at some of the coats and hats, note the prices. Then it’s on to a bus that takes us to the outskirts of town and an open air market. Understand that it’s about -10C and snowing. We get to the market and go to the fur section. This market is about 10-20 acres, and selling everything you could want. We find a marten coat, calf length, thick, gorgeous. The guy wants 16,500 rubles. Luda haggles with him for awhile, then takes us aside to talk with us. She says that if we offer to pay in Euros, we can probably get a better deal. Understand, using foreign currency is illegal, and there are supposedly undercover cops looking for such things, but it’s really common. Luda goes back and haggles some more. W isn’t helping the cause by stroking the fur and burying her face in it with a wide-eyed smile. We get the coat for 400 Euros. We had seen one similar to it in the fancy shop for twice as much, and not near as nice. We also get her a mink hat for 100 Euros.

Now she’s dressed like a Russian woman, the quilted goose down of mine she was wearing goes into a plastic shopping bag and we’re back on the bus. W really looks Russian now, tall, thin, blonde, and dressed like a princess. Heads turn when she struts down the street, and she notices, and though she’s embarrassed, she likes it.

Luda takes us to the fish market and picks out a fish for our dinner, then drops us back by the flat and leaves us. W is cooking it now, and after dinner we’re going to go out and hit some clubs to sample the night life. Still jet lagged, but that will last most of the week.

We were lucky that it cleared some today, and I was able to get some pictures that don’t feature snowflakes as the main theme. I still don’t know how to post them on my blog, so I’ll email them to some of you. The pic here is the Church of the Holy Blood, or something like that. It looks similar to St. Basil’s in Moscow.

blueguy1051 61M

3/20/2006 9:18 am

Check out the Red Lion - basement of the Senate building on the Neva next to the admiralty.

rm_Lance_Elliot 48M

3/20/2006 10:43 am

I love this city!!!

StaynHardnHot 43M
305 posts
3/20/2006 3:57 pm

Kelli will one of you two secret agents be my tour guide when i take my first Russian expedition..?? The pictures where amazing to see..i can only imagine what the beauty in architecture was like to witness first hand...i am truly envious of you both...and you havent even hit the clubs yet!! Be safe, kisses, Chris

cobra70118 106M

3/22/2006 9:01 pm

Kelli thank you for this excellent read. I always wanted to go to St Peterburg.

... always did want to be a pump designer too.

cobra70118 106M

3/22/2006 9:03 pm

Kelli thank you for this excellent read of your travels. I always wanted to go to St Peterburg.

... always did want to be a pump designer too.

rm_calcoastal 58M
17 posts
12/13/2006 2:36 pm

Yes..the women in the highheel boots are realy something.
I have seen acouple of them slip on the ice but i never seen one fall.
You describe it pretty well, I usualy spend my time in a different region from you but it all sounds the same

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