Wednesday, February 5, 2014

New Friends and New Memories!

While visiting the Cathedral of Spilled Blood, I happened upon a group of college aged kids from all parts of the globe. They volunteered for an organization named ISIC, which develops student leadership skills through international internships, and I stumbled upon the Russian segment. We hit it off right away and I was soon invited to spend the rest of the day with them. After everyone got their picture taken with the American, (I felt like a celebrity) we took off for the hermitage. I could not believe where a lot of these guys were from; spanning from the Ukraine to Brazil to Siberia, they were truly a diverse group of people.  Out of the 12 or so in the group, 5 spoke English well enough to have a broken conversation with and two were able to talk fluently. I found myself speaking to the others via a translator and got questions such as "how are the beeches!?" And "is that your real hair?" 

We spent the next six or so hours exploring St. Petersburg, one of the local guys acting as our guide and translating everything into English for me. I even joined them in a cafe for their ISIC meeting, which consisted of around 30 students total. I was treated to cranberry juice (Russians seem to love juices) and a Russian dish that I call Russian pie. Essentially you cook a pie crust and stuff it with any fillings you can imagine. The two slices I had were potato and meat and for desert a cranberry and apple slice. 
Shortly after we split apart to return to our respective hostels, a full day of laughter and exploring behind us. I returned to the hostel and fell asleep by 9:00 pm, all of my energy expended from two days of sleepless travel followed by a full exploration of a foreign city. 

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