It's our last night in Russia and I've done zero writing in this humble hotel room in St. Petersburg up until now. I guess I'll start where I left off. Wednesday was bitterly cold. We went to a village in Moscow where Peter the Great had once lived and many czars since had spent a good deal of time. The place was interesting, but the weather was distracting. That afternoon, Karl and I slept at Anna's, ate dinner, and ultimately packed. I regret that I will never see them again. But I enjoyed our time together.
We made it to the train station just in the nick of time, bumping into an American (Marina school teacher) while there. His name was Bill, and he was an instant jackass. The comment he made in Christy M's presence didn't help, either (something about so many "girls" who were free, white and over 18, if I remember correctly).
Allyson and MM showed up at the station absolutely trashed (vodka), and in tears. They bawled over how they "came this close to staying and not going back," ad infinitum. It was utterly ridiculous, to say the very least. What a completely stupid thing to do: get tanked and climb on a train for an 8 hour ride.
Anyway, Kelly and Karl and Stacy and I stayed up the entire night as Kelly and I reminesced and told crazy stores and generally entertained the other two. They thought we were entirely insane, but they seemed to enjoy it. I believe Karl has an entirely new outlook on TeaF conferences now.
We got off the train and went directly to the bus and started our tour. Since, it has been a whirlwind of tours, cathedrals, art museums, and the inside of that cafe. We've eaten more food there--God Almighty, have we. And our waitress (one for us all) has been there every day, 3 meals a day, so today (Christmas, in Russia) I left her a $10 bill after breakfast. I felt good for doing it, too.
All I know at this point is that in 8 hours we leave for the St. Petersburg Airport. I'm ready to go, too. This is a nice country, and I've more than enjoyed myself, and I'm inexpressably glad that I came here. But I miss America, and I want to go home. And I will.
MGW, 8:40 pm, 1/7/95
Back Up to the Index.
On to A Few Afterthoughts.
Michael G. Williams