On Nevsky Boulevard, Saint – Petersburg, people walk in a hurry but not noisy, cars are many but not crowded. The beautiful Russian girls dress discreetly (but when night falls in bars and coffee, they also break fiercely). Pigeons pick up food right under the feet. The even-numbered house, called the “sun” side, is filled with fashion boutiques displaying the fad this year in Paris or Milano. But incidentally, we strayed into a small alley on the “odd” side of the boulevard, the “shady side” like the locals say. A very unexpected scene appeared: In the wild grass with hens engrossed in conversation in their incomprehensible language, several men seemed suspiciously searching for something. The houses look shabby, ragged with water pipes full of cracks. Outside the door was a wrinkled old woman, wrapped in a black towel. The lips are thin, tight, the chin is pointed, the eyes are narrowed. Definitely a model of the old lady lending interest in “Crime and punishment” by Dostoyevsky. Nevsky Boulevard is where Dostoyevsky and Gogol gave their immortal characters “living earth”.
In the afternoon, the past Russia returns to live in a “classic” Russian restaurant like the “Quan Xua” Vietnam. The house has large windows, elaborate carved door frames. The walls are full of holy pictures and wood carvings. The corner of the house is planted with a fir leaf, leaving Russian rakes, plows and stoves with samova kettles. The waiter with chestnut-colored hair, his face freckled, wearing pink plaid pants, a silk shirt, the waistband of the cloth served us sour cabbage soup, black bread, pork salt, herring, onion, potatoes in crockery. The waitress had blonde, thick hair that wrapped around her head, in a rural fashion. But her body did not emit the smell of freshly squeezed milk or the smell of maple tree sap, but rather the sweet scent of Chanel 5 perfume, inviting us to boil water with raspberry leaves and apple-scones. Come to the Russian kitchen to know that, but all of us crave a bowl of rice, plate of boiled spinach. The Russian menu is full of fat, look at Russian women.
Just because “to know”, we boarded a small boat overlooking the city from the Neva River for $ 100 per person. Unfortunately, we could not see anything, because the sky was full of soggy clouds, erected like a black wall. The rain hung down like a loose hair and then rushed down the river. But in the warm cabin there were two Russian musicians playing Balalayca and baian and a tall girl with perfect Russian beauty welcoming us. The girl’s eyes were strangely beautiful in her satin blue dress, her lace collar, the thin scarf she hung around her shoulders, the beads on her wrists, she was smiling and cheerful but very presentable. . She sang to us about the positive lobes, about the quiet fields and the prairies where there were many beautiful girls like the afternoon song in a sour Russian voice, unmixed.
It was still raining outside, but the air was still ripple of a sticky, sticky dust. I looked out to the river, to the fortress of St. Peter and Paul, a huge rainbow appeared in a gloomy color, so as not to see the artist holding an American “dollar” on his heart and kissing his lips. The train goes through the palace bridge. Every night from April to November, 22 bridges span across Neva and the main canals are lifted for shipping to the Gulf of Finland. Because of the numerous canals, Saint-Petersburg is also known as the Venise of the North
Today Saint-Petersburg is still a center of Russian culture. The city has more than 8,000 buildings, 2,000 bookstores, 221 museums, 100 orchestras, 80 theaters. Before coming to Petersburg, I had 3 wishes. One is to hear in the large section of Shostakovich’s Leningrad Conservatory No. 7 – the heroic symphony of the 20th century. The other is to look for the tomb of Mr. Lep Scriagin, author of famous maritime books. Third is to welcome the white night by the Neva river.
The first two wishes were not fulfilled. Therefore, even though many people are preventing us (going to Petersburg in the night for fear of insecurity – for no reason!), We are still determined to fulfill our third wish. Almost 1 am, taxi took us to the Palace square. The lights on the square faded in the northern summer night. We watched the stars tremble coldly. Suddenly there was a sigh spreading rapidly in the sky. A stream of silver light flooded everywhere, feeling like the dawn was rushing to replace the sunset.
Leaving Russia from Domodedovo Airport (Moscow), we didn’t see the hateful airport worker again. He must have been fired. How might a great country like Russia harbor such kind of person. No matter how in our hearts the love of Russia is still alive.