We have had some beautiful weather the past two weeks, which got us excited for spring. We took our first full day off in 8 weeks and went to the famous Hermitage museum on Friday and it was amazing. The museum is in a palace. I will post some pictures below. They say if you spent a minute at each exhibit in the museum it would take you months to see everything. We are sad to report that the weather just turned back to winter yesterday and snowed all day. The nice thing is that we should only have 3-4 more weeks of cold before a true spring arrives. Kathy and I were talking on the metro about the fun and different things of Russia and so Kathy put a list together that we thought would be fun to share on our blog this week along with the pictures.
Fun and Different Things about St. Petersburg:
Each apartment has a guard/worker who cleans and maintains the building…. They also have to clean up the poop, as nobody cleans up after their dogs!
The kids look like marshmallows and are bundled up like they are going skiing all winter. They can barely walk.
There are SO many tall, skinny women here! And they love to wear high heel boots and miniskirts. Yes, they have attitude and look at you like they wish you would cease to exist.
They love flowers! Everyone is always carrying a bouquet home.
They love PDA and are always hugging, kissing and sometimes more in public.
The women will tell you exactly how they feel - even in church – usually not a good thing. Ha ha
No one will smile or talk to you on the streets unless you do it first. Then, maybe, they will smile or talk.
When you make a Russian friend, they are a GOOD friend and wonderful people!
The city is clean, but you can never find a garbage can and there is nowhere to throw your trash.
The metros here are gorgeous! There are mosaics and paintings on the walls or they are just very ornate. The escalators to the metro are the longest things you have ever seen! Think of ours times 20. They go deep underground because the metros go under the rivers.
There is no graffiti in the metros and the Russians stand there in the train reading books as if it wasn't moving.... we hold on for dear life or sit down.
I have never seen so many expensive cars! Think Bentleys, Mercedes, Lexus, Jaguars and we just saw a Ferrari.
They say there is a very small middle class in Russia, and St. Petersburg is a higher end community.
The drivers aren’t patient and would love to run over you in the crosswalks.
Heaven forbid if you want to make a cake or a meal out of a mix or box on the shelf. There are none, as everyone cooks from scratch.
There are tons of Italian restaurants here – but you can hardly find Russian food.
Sushi and Pizza Restaurant Combined– who would have thought they go together! Oh, ya, the awesome people of Russia.
They have Burger King, KFC, Carl’s Jr. and McDonald"s. But we can’t find vitamins. :)
Taking a shower is like a hot and cold roller coaster.
The side streets are filled with pot holes, some large enough that people and dogs never return :-).
They have 1000 kinds of sausages and devote a whole store section for them.
There’s a holiday about every week. They take lots of vacations too.
There are strange things in the meat department and no diet coke on the shelves. (Not that we drink it....) :)
We love the people of Russia and were able to teach a lot this week and meet a ton of wonderful people. We had our area conference and had the privilege of being taught by Elder Malm (a general authority of the church). We have 5 people scheduled for baptism next week and two the following. It is amazing to work with the missionaries and bear witness to their investigators of the truthfulness of the gospel. We love all of you and hope your lives are moving forward in a positive direction. Always remember it isn't the toys in the garage that are important, it is the people we touch each day and the positive influence we can have on those that we love that really matters. Love Bob and Kathy