Three months have passed – goodbye Saint-Petersburg

Three months have passed – goodbye Saint-Petersburg
24 February 2017

This is the second time I have lived for a period of three months in Russia’s second largest city. Last time I went to Saint-Petersburg, the whole city was new to me. To explore the city I strolled around a lot, and got to know many interesting places. But this time, I wanted to focus my attention on different things.

This time, I decided to live with Russian people of my age in order to get to know the city and the country in a different manner. Besides this, I could practice Russian language after classes in a relaxed atmosphere. During the first two weeks I lived in a large hostel with solely Russian people. But because of the large number of people living in the hostel, it was hard to actually meet people. Every day I saw new faces, which made it difficult to really get to know to people. Via the Russian equivalent of Facebook ­– VKontakte – I found a room in a smaller hostel.

Before I moved in there, the people living in the hostel invited me to come over and meet them. Having talked for a while, I felt comfortable and got an impression of the people. After they assured me that my level of Russian language was not of any problem, I was sure that this would be my new place of residence. It actually is a hostel, but because (including me) six people were living there for a longer period, it looked more like a student residence. During the past three months I really felt at home there. My Russian roommates and other people of my age I met during my stay, impressed me with their literary knowledge. Everyone is very well informed about Russian literature. People of my age in the Netherlands are not that well informed about the Dutch literature.

Also with this last blogpost, I want to thank my good and kind teachers Lyubov and Zlata, for their interesting and educational lessons. We started every day by discussing the news and our own experiences of the day before. To me this seems a very nice way of learning the language. Besides this, my teachers learned us much about Russia and Russians and shared a lot of interesting stories about life in the Soviet Union. The atmosphere during the lessons was pleasant and there was always time for laughter.

I also want to thank Liza for her useful ideas and feedback. The fact that she was always cheerful and open, resulted in a very pleasant collaboration during the internship.

I now say goodbye to Saint-Petersburg, but not yet to Russia. In March, I will take the train together with good friend Ramon across Siberia to the other end of the world, to Vladivostok. We are both looking forward to this journey very much, it promises to be a memorable trip with impressions of different cities in Russia and the Russian landscape.

Posted by Luuk Winkelmolen

Hello, my name is Luuk Winkelmolen. I am a Dutch Human Geography student from Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. I am currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Language Centre in Saint-Petersburg. Some years ago I started to get interested in Russian history and culture, and after that I started to get familiar with the Russian language. In 2015 I studied Russian at the Dutch Institute in Saint-Petersburg. This was the first time I actually lived and studied in Russia. This was a great experience, so I decided to return to Russia and especially to the city of Saint-Petersburg, in order to live there again for a few months and to feel myself a little bit Russian again.

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