Monday March 25 2013 (ST. PETERSBURG)

Niko Pianobar*

Waking up to a roaring sound of a thousand Russian-speaking teenagers coming from the hallway of the hostel. It’s just before 9 a.m. and it’s very disrupting. Aysena and I can’t sleep. They are from “the village”, as Aysena explains it, which is another way to say kids that aren’t from the city or “that don’t know how to act”.

Aysena, Aina, Tristan, and I start out our day journey at a café near a small Pushkin statue.

Egg, Onions, and Greens Pastry. Cream Cheese filled Pastries. Orange Juice.

An inside public market sparks my attention. A few Armenian vendors swindle Tristan and I into buying a blood orange and a plum. They forcefully want us to have a picture of them.  

Russian Adventures (2013)*

Russian Adventures (March 2013)*

We continue walking along the main river in St. Petersburg. On a whim we find a small second hand shop with plenty of antique eye candy.

One of Tristan’s famous conclusive one-liners that I find myself using again and again: “I can’t call you a liar if you’re telling the truth.”

Visiting The Peter and Paul Fortress, the glorious cathedral inside and the Trubetskoy Bastion Prison.

Russian Adventures (2013)*

Russian Adventures (March 2013)*

Russian Adventures (March 2013)*

Eating at a Japanese restaurant.

Chicken with Vegetables and Noodles. Green Tea.

At the NikO Pianobar off Pushkin Street. I’ve got a gig booked here in this warm cozy smoky atmosphere. It’s not terribly crowded but for a Monday night it’s nice. Mostly young adult couples are my audience along with my friends. I run through my long list of songs with mostly success. Dmitry, the manager, who doesn’t speak hardly any English, takes a liking to it. After I finish my act a Russian band goes on performing rock n roll songs from the 50’s and 60’s. Aysena and Aina are hollering and having a good old fashion time. As well a few couch surfing faces make an appearance. One of them, Natasha who is a real friendly type, starts talking with Tristan. She invites us to hang out after the show.

Russian Adventures (March 2013)

We take our time walking to this bar Natasha knows about. Our group is a little slow because Aysena and Aina have been drinking. There’s a lot of commotion in the street as Ays shouts and acts overly friendly to passerby’s.

Russian Adventures (2013)*

Russian Adventures (2013)*

At the bar, but only for a little time because we have to catch a train.

Lentil Soup with Pita Bread.

Russian Adventures (2013)*

As things continue the girls are losing more and more of their common sense. And it makes things difficult in commuting back to the hostel for our luggage. We flag down a taxi and get in. The Russian man has to stop the car twice to let Aina and Ays throw up. He’s terribly patient surprisingly, considering the last two taxis we tried to use refused us service. Eventually, we grab our stuff and walk to the train station. We don’t have tickets though, only a screenshot of the registered tickets online from Aysena’s phone. I have possession of the phone now because Ays is in no state of mind to be leading the group. But I don’t know where to go and because I don’t understand Russian fluently my asking questions to any employee there is useless. And Ays isn’t offering any help whatsoever. She just keeps spouting out criticism and plopping on the ground like a toddler in an effort to pass out. She shares sporadic conversations in Russian with Aina that only exacerbates the situation and causes Aysena to lose her composure. She’s running off away from the train in a fit now, sometimes dropping her bags carelessly. Tristan and I are left to carry most of the luggage and maintain our togetherness at the same time. It’s like trying to control a pair of two-year olds. As much as I’m surprised to see this dark and frantic side of the night, I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. It’s almost reminiscent of the former escapades of drunken drama I had to experience with my ex-girlfriend. It’s really strange. Somehow, through asking multiple train employees at the platforms, we manage to find our designated car and settle into the packed shared train bunks. That was the most stressful I’ve been in a long while. I hate alcohol in the hands of people I’m supposed to respect.

Around 3 a.m. I lie back on my stiff bunk and try to catch some Zzzz’s.

* Images taken by me. 
Images taken by Aysena.

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