The first time I learned about this beautiful city, I knew that some day I would end up living there.

an early stroll

I follow the rule of 6am. Try waking up early in the morning and walk around the city. This is the only time between you and the city. Try taking a walk around empty streets of St. Petersburg and introduce yourself. 8 months that I have lived here does not make me its citizen, I have to explore the city for it to accept me.

Exploring never ends.  Enduring lanes and allies, wondrous architecture in every part of the city. I suppose any person can find his own spot in Piter (affectionately calling this city).  This city unites some of the beautiful cities on earth, Paris, and Venice. It reminds many of Netherlands, anyone can find something personal for him. It is a window to Europe.

One distracting thing is rain. The attribute of every citizen of St. Petersburg is an umbrella. Unlike me, who hides from the heavy drops of rain, many enjoy walking under it and feel themselves alive. Bleak sky, a hint of wind and rain are always there and when the sun comes up even 40-year-old serious businessman feels himself like a kid stretching his body towards the sun. Sunshine – is a luxury. This is how you start to value things. In fact, it is one more thing why I like this city – I started to value smallest things in life – good weather, genuine smile, freedom, these things cannot be bought, but can be presented as a gift.

This northern capital of Russia is all about art and etiquette.  People are so polite that they will not allow you to speak loud in public transport not to bother someone reading.  If you speak Russian well you can even identify how grammatically correct people of St. Petersburg are. And I am not afraid to say, but I suppose this culture loves books more than they love people. Don’t go about asking people why they spend so much time reading. Books are given away for free, in exchange for something. Some say that people of St. Petersburg are haughty, but it is not true.  You have to know what this city has gone through war, blockade, hunger. This city, just like people, has a right to choose smile back at you or not.

Lanterns, small balconies, backyard labyrinths, yellowish color of facades, sudden heavy rain, white nights, dates on roof – this is St. Petersburg.