I’m grateful for the travels I made before the arrival of Covid and the invasion of Ukraine by the Vladimir Putin Government. St. Petersburg is a case in point. These pictures were made in 2015. We took a ferry from Helsinki to St. Petersburg, and back again. I admit I was nervous about getting inside a ferry, to be swallowed up not only by a huge vessel but one that was staffed entirely by Russian patriots. Old stereotypes learned as I grew up, surfaced in my memory, for sure. Very happy when the doors of the ferry let us out at the port of St. Petersburg, we were greeted by a young tour guide named Maria, who accompanied us to the hotel. Accommodations and service were excellent.
In general I will avoid commenting about characteristics of persons and places. I can only recount the feelings I had in my interactions with individuals during our stay. On the ferry I made friends with a female Russian server, with whom I kept in contact through facebook, but she mysteriously disappeared from my social media radar after a time. My irrational imagination wanders to the idea that, maybe she was a spy, a feeling that is totally unfounded.
During one of our days in St. Petersburg, seated at an outdoor café, I took these pictures of people as they scurried down the street in the rain. Each had their own reaction to the weather, and various ways to keep themselves dry, or not. It’s not to be assumed that these people were Russian, but they were wet.