The next stop is St Petersburg. Just like Moscow, former Leningrad decided to welcome me with the showers and cold. It just ruined my plans to take a stroll on one of the most beautiful roads in St Petersburg — Nevsky Prospect.
Irked by puddles of water, I opted to visit a cafe in my apartment as the downpour continued. Glued to the TV, I and an Australian man shared the table for the most part of the evening. But, later we and two Germans — a son and father, were invited by a group of Swedish fans, sitting on the adjacent table.
14 was the headcount, so 20 was the number of beers asked for. We needed no reason to sing, and we sang songs from all the countries present at the table. The girl who worked at the cafe finished her shift at midnight and could not resist the temptation of joining our conversation. It was like a big family get together, the warmth of the affection and warm air blowing from the room heaters kept us all engaged in a lively talk.
Speaking about the family, I cannot move past before mentioning about my Saturday evening as I was invited for dinner by Elena at her place in Lytkarino, a picturesque town on the outskirts of Moscow. Elena had planned a four-course dinner for me and her parents, and wouldn’t let me keep a foot inside her kitchen even to keep my coffee mug as she wanted the meal to be a big surprise.
Of course, it began with vodka shots with her father, while the ladies preferred red wine. The appetiser was delicious Cabbage salad and Apple Stuffed Duck, which I liked the best. Since it is summer, the second course was Khaladnik (cold beetroot soup) while the main course was Potatoes with Herring (fish) and to top it off, Honey Cake with Fruit.
No wonder the dinner went on for over three hours as we talked about all the possible things that adults can talk about after having a few glasses of wine.
Another day, another family...
And yes, this piece about the families around the world is dedicated to the baby girl my family welcomed on Monday. She will have the name that her parents will give her, but I will just call her ‘Elena’, named after my dear friend! I’m officially an uncle now!