St. Petersburg CS Host
今次與CS Host有語言障礙，我不會俄語，他們不會中文，我們的共同語言只有英文，直到見面前，我們都以WhatsApp、CS電郵等書面溝通，沒什麼問題；但一見面要開口說話，大鑊了，我們各自有口音，完全不明白對方說什麼，我連Alexander說的遊覽貼士都聽唔明，傾偈更加不可能，結果面對面都要用Google Translate，大大拖慢理解速度，弄得雙方都無心機繼續溝通。
This is a picture of my CS family Host in St. Petersburg. They are father Alexander, mother Larzse, little daughter Alexandra and a pair of pet bird Chizika.
We have language barrier because I can’t speak Russian and they can’t speak Chinese. English is our only common language. It was fine before we met because we communicated in written English on WhatsApp or CS mailing. It is a disaster when we meet and speak. We both have our accent and we can’t understand each other. Alexander tells me some travel tips in St. Petersburg but I don’t understand what he’s speaking. It’s impossible for us to chat. We have to use Google Translate even face to face and it became so complicated and we both lost the interest in communicating.
They sleep early and wake up early. I can’t stay at home when nobody at home. I usually go out at 8am and back home late after having meals outside. There are LOTS of beautiful spots in St. Petersburg and I try to visit as many as I can everyday. I am so tired and don’t even what to speak when I back home.
The kitchen, living room and dining room are all in a big room in their home. I sleep in that big room. I sleep on a sofa-bed and 2 birds accompany me. Those birds are so noisy and always wake me up at night. It is quite a struggle for me to suppress the impulse to BBQ those birds…
Although language has barrier but painting has no boundary. Alexandra the little daughter always want to escape when I did the drawing. Her mum Larzse holds arms around Alexandra to make her sit still. I am greatly appreciate the whole family has good patients for me to finish this drawing.
When I finish the drawing, they look back at themselves in the drawing and smile to me. I smile back to them. I think we DID understand each other at that momentJ
They are really nice people. Larzse has a free day so she took me and Alexandra to Rabbit Island. Alexandra and I have a good relationship because we are keep playing ‘the mask face’ (a simple game of covering face with hands and change the facial expression) these days. Alexandra comes to me and holds my hand on the way. This sincere and friendly act of a kid is really touching～
But Alexandra is just a kid. We walk and stop. We can’t finish a 1-hour tourist spot for over 2 hours. I can’t really communicate with Larzse and there are lots of beautiful spots in St. Petersburg that I haven’t been to so I say to Larzse that I would like to travel alone. Larzse is a bit upset but she can’t stop me. I really did visit places I want to be and it’s really feel good to be free. But the situation is a bit awkward when I get home. Maybe Larzse visit the Rabbit Island FOR ME and I am so un-tactful to leave early and make her a bit upset.
It’s a precious opportunity for me to visit St. Petersburg and I have no idea when I can re-visit this amazing place again. That was my last night in St. Petersburg. One hand is the beautiful St. Petersburg and the other hand is the host that I can’t really communicate with. I balance the pros and cons and I choose to walk away and travel alone.
I should have more patients and scarify a bit of time to explain my decision with them when I look back now. And I should buy a cake or some kind of presents for them. I am so stupid that I pissed them off in the morning and return home with empty hands at night. But the good thing is, traveling has made me more mature and wise enough to think in this way now.
I just spent 5 days in St. Petersburg. Russia is really a powerful historical country. There are so many beautiful museums and palaces in St. Petersburg and they are all world-famous, amazing and beautiful. I go out early and back home late everyday but still can’t finish them all and 5 days just not enough! At least 2 weeks if I just want to quick glance on every beautiful spots and it would nice to have a whole month to visit St. Petersburg at ease!
I was on a cruise from Helsinki to SPB. I love boat… I bought the cheapest no-window room. I spent one night on the cruise and listening the amazing life story of my neighbor…
She was a middle age lady who was born in north-east China and went to America with a college scholarship. She then married to an American and had a US passport. Then they got divorced after decades. She suddenly recognized she had never lived her own life so she quit her job and traveling around the world.
Her family was worry and took her to see a doctor. The doctor said: I couldn’t see any problems of quitting job and go travel. If you want to travel around the world, then go!
She was going to stay in St. Petersburg for a few days. She was staying in Dubai for 6 months and learning yoga in desert.
I asked her: Oh, you can stay longer in St. Petersburg if you still had your Chinese passport.
She said: I don’t want to go back to China anymore…