back from russia
of postcards from the Hermitage
, but failed to buy one stamp to send a postcard to selmin! my french flatmate is going to st.petersburg this thursday, maybe i can ask her to help me send from russia... (so selmin, the postcard you'll get has to stay at finland for some days. if you prefer a finnish stamp, i can also send it from helsinki :P)
also bought a poster of Albert Marquet
's painting from Hermitage. the price is incredibly low with quite good quality! (i should have bought some more posters, like of Degas
... ps. the Hermitage has the largest Matisse colletion in the world.) the Hermitage has one of the world's finest collectons of impressionists and post-impressionists. however, how shall i forget to see the Modonnas by Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt
's the return of the prodigal son and flora
anyway, the Hermitage itself is magnificent and marvellous enough. it's really a perplexing puzzle that on such a frozen and tough land, the russians could have created so much amazing cultural works and powerful political regime. on the other hands, however, it's an ironically contrast that with such splendid historical heritage, the life of russian people has been always so difficult. no matter it's ture or not that tough environments built tough people, most of the russian people look unhappy. somehow, it's another kind of unhappiness compared to finnish people. (err...) i was so impressed and shocked that when taking the elevator to the metro, almost everyone
of the people on the other side (from the underground) looked serious with hostility, uncomfortably and unfriendly stare with cold glance. an astonishing and nearly scaring, unreal scene.
well, Yin is right. i visited st. petersburg too early. but it's not bad to witness how they prepared for its tricentenary, with the tremendous snow! i can't believe it's said only
-2 degree in st. petersburg, while it's -10 degree in helsinki now with such sunny weather and no snow... just after i posted the previous entry from Hermitage, the whole st. petersburg was suddenly turned to a white world by the amazing blizzard!! it's indeed very very different from the finnish snow!!
the russian food is also fantastic. well, at first those europeans of my group had kind of phobias for the food and water in russia. it's really funny that they even ate the sandwich they made by themselves with those expensive bread and ham bought at helsinki, spent lots of time to find a restaurant but just order a glass of coke (while i think the russians still wash the glass with the notorious local water but not mineral water...) anyway, maybe the stomach of those mediterranean people are not so strong as our taiwanese, i enjoyed quite a lot: solianka
, a traditional russian soup with meat, potato, tomoto, sour cream, etc., blihschiki
(pancake, amazingly delicious), shashlik
(Georgian barbicue). ohh don't forget to order hot chocolate at the internet cafe in the Hermitage!!
about the postcard robbery
, it's nothing fresh new that just ordinary street beggars asked you for money, kept following you then robbed you. i really didnt expect that they would try to rob my bag, anyway i guess my screaming and kicking scared them out. thanks got i put my wallet in the inner pocket of my jacket, and there is nothing really important in my bag (tissue, lip balm, mirror, map...) later i rushed into a shoe's shop and found that one of my postcard pocket was gone! i felt so angry yet funny of imagining the scene when those gypsies found what they got was not wallet but postcards!! i wonder what would they do with that. anyway it's still so scaring and horrible. at first Mai and i were so happy that we didnt need to follow those people of our group and we had some quite nice walking along the Nevsky prospekt to the Moscow station (actually i really planned to take the night coach to take the picture of red square and kremlin, well, it's not so hard or impossible!) but sooner then on our way back i met the robbery, i was so scared and just wanna go back to our hostel asap, (and even wanna leave russia... it's just our 2nd day there!!)
now i still feel confused and even dunno whether i like russia the country or not... anyway, Yin, if you plan to visit there next spring, please tell me, i think visitng russia with a reliable
big brother would be a good idea. :P