Early morning by the Neva, Saint Petersburg, Russia
A few years ago we enjoyed a visit to Saint Petersburg. A City and close surrounds that are graced with some fantastic Palaces, Museums, Art Collections, Theatres, Churches and contrasting style of old and new architecture…. it was indeed a great and inspiring trip.
There was a Russian insistence that our group travel with an Official Guide. We were very lucky. Assigned to us was a young Student. Her knowledge of history (not just Russian history), St. Peterburg and all the places we visited was extensive. She told the stories with great pride and a natural enthusiasm, spiced with humour. She would be with us over a few days so we got to know her well.
Part way through the first day, after we had asked the obvious location questions, she said that we could ask her anything about Russian life. During those questions she told of life under the Soviet times, the changes of the modern Russia on day to day life. She related stories of her parents and their life under the old regime….. it was refreshing, frank and open, expressed many hopes for the future; some good discussions were had. It was educational, revealing, encouraging and fun.
On the last day as we past the Russian Presidents St. Petersburg Residence, someone asked the question…what did she think of Putin.
Her reply was brisk, short. Putin…. He is a warrior.
She then quickly changed the subject, but the tone of her reply said it all…it was definitive, final. I have often reflected upon that answer.
Not good times at the moment for anyone, so it is probably more important than ever to say….
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2022