Sunday, June 5, 2011

white knights: June 5 2011

Dancer, prancer, vixen, or blitzen?
Had three perfectly lovely flights and landed in St Petersburg without incident. Thanks to United and SAS for the free upgrades. I didn't mind the 5-hour layover in Stockholm because the airport is so cute. It looks like a sauna - wall to wall and floor to ceiling covered in wood. Just like Helsinki airport, they sell reindeer skins. I had plenty of reading material. All the food for sale looked extraordinarily tasty - especially a sandwich with little meatballs and beet potato salad. Too bad I wasn't hungry - but we will be back in this airport 3 more times before the trip is through.
Olga was preoccupied when I arrived - something about being honored. Through a translation misunderstanding with Maria, I never found out if Olga was being honored, somebody else was being honored, or it was an honor just to be invited. Olga's parents felt compelled to entertain me the rest of the day until Olga would resurface in the evening. We watched some movie clips, my eyes getting heavier and heavier, until Olga's brother Kostya and Natasha arrived and stole me away from our cinema épuisé.

Skype Terminal in the Stockholm Arlanda airport
We have a friend who is a sort of mad scientist, his most recent business idea is to turn his massive pre-communist apartment into a live/work space with two rooms for rent a timeslots for 20 people to use for work/presentation space. The theme of this evening was a debate over what to name the space. I feel I got a few good suggestions in. The apartment is truly amazing, a huge space with several bedrooms and offices, and huge bathroom with jacuzzi, massive and superbly-renovated kitchen. How does one find a place like this??

The beautiful people at Dom Beat
Around 11pm, we made it over to the lounge/restaurant called Dom Beat. This is a hip place in downtown St Petersburg with good late-night food (I'm told the burgers are the best in the city), lively female DJ (you don't see many of them), and beautiful people coming and going. Kostya, Natasha, Olga, and I hung out until just past midnight, I'm amazed I was able to stay up that late considering I had been awake almost straight through since Thursday morning. The white nights played their role - it's hard to get sleepy when you're gallivanting around, eating dinner, and it's hardly dusk outside.

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