ST. PETERSBURG – After another day of hiking up and down the stairs of the Faculty of Journalism, I asked Pavel, my university host, about students in wheelchairs.
He said he’s been at the Faculty for six years and he has never seen a student in a wheelchair. He also said as far as he knew, there was no accommodation for disabled students.
“Is that the right word?” Pavel asked.
I nodded. “It must be strange for you, coming from the U.S.”
Then he added: “It’s Russia.”
ST. PETERSBURG – It felt like my first lecture in Russia was appropriate for Labor Day since I highlighted the achievements of working American journalists at St. Petersburg State University.
“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” – from Labor Department.
SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL – My co-worker said I should pack extra t-shirts and underwear for my Russian trip.
I use the same strategy for my tech toys. Yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea to snap a photo of all my gadgets and gizmos. It helped me keep track of what I needed to shoot, blog and tweet from St. Petersburg.
I’m quite happy with the international plugs from Suzanne. Woot! Electric charging goodness in my hotel room.
These things excite me. Sad? Still – it makes me a happy traveler. If you want a break down on the types of cameras and other gadgets I’m lugging to Russia, click on the photo link.
Wow. Packed and ready for my Russian adventure. Looks like I’ll have some sidekicks tagging along.
Sometimes, my bears place nicely together. In fact, they’re one heck of a team when they decide to help each other.
Pop Quiz: What’s different in these two pictures?
ANDRE: MOMMY DOESN’T NEED TO GO RUNNING IN RUSSIA.
Less than two weeks to go before I’m flying to St. Petersburg. I still have a ton of editing and writing to finish. I also have to work on new subjects for new lectures.
I’m sure I will be working on these presentations on the plane. In the meantime, I’m trying to get a better idea of what to expect in St. Petersburg.
Some travel prep notes:
- Travel Document Systems e-mailed my Russian Visa. Woot! It was an adventure trying to apply for a visa at the Russian Consulate in San Francisco. I’ll blog more about it – soon.
- I bought a new battery for my MacBook at the Apple Store in San Francisco
- I borrowed some international converter plugs from Suzanne. I guess I’ll see which one works in St. Petersburg.
- I’m learning some Russian phrases thanks to the one-minute lesson podcasts by Radio Lingua.
- My bedtime reading is the Lonely Planet Guide to St. Petersburg.
I’m still trying to answer the question: “Who get’s to be my ‘Plus One’ on my St. Petersburg, Russian trip? Right now, it looks like I’m leaving Andre behind thanks to the new results of my informal poll.
Louie: 4 votes.
(Louie wants to thank Samantha, Mark, Sara and Dad.)
Andre: 3 votes
(Andre wants to thank Colin, Rink and Andrei.)
My blog poll has been extended to Twitter and Facebook friends as well as young readers offline.
So. Thanks for voting!!!
Today – I’m trying to figure out how to say ‘Hello’, ‘Thank You’ and ‘Good-bye’ in Russian.
Next month – I will step up to the lecture podium and teach a journalism class in St. Petersburg.
One of my co-workers said she didn’t understand why I would need a passport and visa to teach in that city. Then she realized I was talking about St. Petersburg, Russia.
If it’s not obvious on this blog and on my Twitter feed – I love to travel. I’m also thrilled to have the chance to follow in the footsteps of Tchaikovsky and sample Russian food and drinks in what some people call the ‘Venice of the North.’