I write you from crazy Russian internet cafe. It is so crazy. I am in Russia!
We fly many hours and over many miles to be here in Russia with you! Five hour layover in Frankfurt, which is in Germany, which is in Europe. I slept on a bench. A man from Syria asked me if I was going to Syria and I said no and then went back to sleep. Finally we get to Russia where everything is crazy. My brother met us at the airport with his host brother who asked: “you are just here to relax?”
Our hotel is on Ploysha Vitanya, and I am just making up this spelling because I can. There is a giant neon sign on top of our hotel that says “Leningrad–Hero City”.
Yesterday we are walking for hours, everywhere, walking. There are four kinds of stores in Russia. Shoe stores. Bootlegged dvd stores. Cell phone stores. Pharamacies. If you want any of these things you can get them everywhere. If you want ice cream, that, too, is available. We had dinner at my brother’s host family’s apartment. They made us a salad out of onions and some rice pilaf with lamb and some homemade pickles and also homemade salsa and some pickled mushrooms. They showed us over one hundred million thousand photographs. They got their apartment in the nineteen sixties. They love America very much, and also know that Russia is one hundred percent crazy.
Today we took a bus out of the city to see a palace in a city called Pushkin, which is named after some writer. Over the city you can see a thick layer of beautiful brown smog as far as the eye can see. St. Petersburg is boring because they’re always like “nazis this, blockade that” but so we went to the palace anyway. It was destroyed by germans during a war except for the shell, so even though it looks just like it did over a million years ago, everything is actually new! crazy! just like russia! then i fell asleep on the bus back into town. then we walked around for a long time until we ate dinner. meat!
tonight i am hoping maybe we will get back to the hotel in time to catch the evening news on CNN.