Wednesday

...more on Russia


St Petersburg, one of the most fantastic cities I have seen, cool, picturesque, impressive architecture, I dont know anybody who doesnt like this city:-)

We walked into our hotel, one of the finest the city had to boast of, and surprise - as one enters the doorway- I was surrounded by a hundred (atleast) gambling machines in combination with those blinking lights. Everyday this casino beckons the gamblers from all around the world as it works round the clock, and as you'd expect pretty women and smart looking men hang out in such places as they were hanging out here this afternoon

For a minute thr I sincerely thought the driver had got us to a wrong place, I kept turning at him looking askance - are you sure we are at the right place?! And at the end of this very large casino area we come to a very small inconspicuous reception area, as if trying to almost, not exist! There were few people standing thr with their passports for check in, and within minutes I was shown to my room, efficiency personified

A lovely room, with a view of the Neva river with trees lining the both sides of the river, getting sprayed gently by white fluffy snow, and, despite the snow I could see joggers in full track pants running by the side of the river.

The first day passed in a haze with meetings and more mtgs. The second day early morning I came down for breakfast to the cafe restaurant to find not too many people there. So I guess I was happy sitting in one of those brightly lit windows with sun streaming in and making the cafe look warm golden yellow- the sun was most welcome after a hard day of snow! I found a table that had a wonderful view :-)

A couple tables away was another guest waiting for his breakfast.

After looking at the menu which I couldn’t read a word of, I asked the steward there to help me understand what was for breakfast. And he couldn’t speak a word of English so I asked for a cup of coffee and walked to the buffet area to check what was on offer

You got to believe this- about 40 odd platters with not a single vegetarian offering, not even cheese! :-( You got to believe this honest! I came back very despondent to my table and sat there heavily, wondering where will I get food here for the next week

Soon the Unilever client was at my table and with glee serving himself breakfast!:-) While I waited patiently hoping someone will ask me what I would like - "maybe a hot crisp aloo parantha with a tall glass of mango milkshake?!" - there is no harm in dreaming, right?

And now my eyes fell upon the table where the other guest was sitting, and by now he had a large, very large portion of a leg? Horse rib? or smthg? In front of him digging into it, like he had not seen food in years. Hungrily!

That did it for me, I asked for another cup of coffee and my breakfast was done, I had absolutely no desire for breakfast no more :-), not even mums aloo parantha!

It was time to get away from this hotel towards some english speaking folks and maybe some cookies during the meeting. O yes, the meeting was sounding promising and I was looking forward to the meeting now:-) On the way to the office I was overwhelmed by the dimensions of the buildings I saw, absolutely fabulous!

11 comments:

ALLEX said...

This is no doubt a very great grievance that all vegetarians have during their tour to places abroad. all are nearly straved to death or end up only with biscuits and cakes for their meals even.... your experience makes us belive that its always better to be non veggies....:)

melinda said...

Hey u shlda started the day like the locals with some superb russian vodka and be on your way!:)
St petesbrg is a super cool city, very snazzy and hip and chic:) infact very parisian too right?

Winters are stiff there and I think our winters are bad, you are right the sun can come out the nxt day bright n sharp and the previous day it can be snowing hard:)

But its absolutely lovely thr yes for sure is.

Ajeya said...

Sounds like a great place to visit! No veggie food!?! Crap! You must've been starving! How'd you manage then finally?

Mee said...

Allex - not a chance I am giving up being a veggie:-)

Mel-tis a super cool city indeed

Ajeya- I would have black coffee everyday for bkfast
For lunch and dinner it would be french fries, latr I discovered pizza hut had a melting hot strawberry wrap, so would eat that without fail everyday , and on lucky days I would get m-grain bread soft, would have tat with cheese, the expericne every trip thr has been so different, I have never resented not getting food thr:-)

Am a huge midnite snacker, so middle of the nite when I would wake hungry I would relish half a bar of galaxy and sleep with a smile on my face after that:-)

Ajeya said...

:)

mathatheist said...

Pictures! Pictures! More Pictures! Would have loved one of the hungry man and his leg. :)

Mee said...

mathaethist I never thought of pulling that one:-)

RavneetSingh said...

Hey never read this post before, missed these somehow!:(

runa said...

Long trips without decent food can get bothersome:(

gita said...

With the world going veggie Russia has some catching up to be done

Mee said...

Ravneet, Runa, Gits- hey English was a saviour, even if food was not, but you know what, if you are enjoying your travel much, then chocolates kinda make up for everything else that is not available:)