Day 9: Stroll about the streets

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Since this city had a lot to do with art, I was about to go to Academiya Stieglitez to find more about it. However, I went all the way to the neighborhood, only to find it was not open on Saturday. I felt upset, like a pilgrim rejected at the entrance to what he had dreamed of for so long. Upset anxiety walked me around to find something pleasant and cheerful. The city was rich in all kinds of parks, for I unconsciously came to an unknown park.

I was strolling back and forth, led by the roundabout path. On both sides were luxuriant bushes with no leaves; on the boundary were tall bare trees. With no lights at all, these non-green defenders drew a clear line between the quiet park where the whispering winds blew and the outside busy world. The sight of completely different vegetation types was good at triggering nostalgia, for it made me realized I was thousands of miles away from home. It was at that time when poetry of homesickness I learned from childhood flooded my mind. Strange point probably to everyone: when we were at home, we dreamed of going out; when we drifted away from home, we desired to return.

The park path

No sooner than I turned at the next crossing, I saw a delicate fountain. There was so little water in it that the low relief surfaced from the bottom. I may well say that Russian cities were full of art design and St. Petersburg was one of the best. All kinds of statues and sculptures were seen everywhere. It indeed had a lot in store for tourists to explore. Either because it was late in the afternoon or on winter holidays there were not many people in the park, but I was not surprised to find a couple on the bench in the dark.

After leaving the park, I walked to the riverside. Although it started to rain  a little, people were still working out by jogging. While I held my camera walking along the pedestrian, there seemed to be a traffic jam. Roads were where you could find people from all walks of life. As cars moved slowly like a snail, from the windows I saw drivers looking ahead seriously, men and women lazily leaning on the window and cute kids who would wave at me curiously. On my other side across from the river were grand Russia-style palaces or castles. I had been curious why they looked so massive (or fat) with only three or four floors. Those shining white houses were drifting on the rainy night with water flowing up and down.


Later it began to snow, flying snowflakes adding to blurry atmosphere. As I was making my way on the bridge, there came a long row of cadets (or trainees). I had always been in awe of soldiers especially as a foreigner, so I did not try to film them until one of the young boys made a face to me. Even though they were not on a mission, I hoped that he did not get punished for that.

It snowed when I was halfway on the bridge.

Probably not everyone was going to fall in love with this city at once, but everyone was going to feel cold on a January night. Before I entered a grocery to get warm, I felt my hands were frozen. The store manager was kind to save me, but I purchased a piece of bread and a bottle of juice out of guilty. I would have forgotten to take the drink if I had not been reminded. It turned out Russian language made me either to forget to take what I bought or the exchange I got back.

In this northern part of districts, there were less people. But still, I was astonished not to meet public display of affection but to see a group of teenage(-looking) boys and girls smoking. Finally, I did not walk further for long before I took the subway back.


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