«This is Russia not Mallorca...«
What a first day ... I am now in the hostel, which was kind of hard to find but was quickly made up by the warm welcome of the young owner. She just passed me at the door of the hostel and saved, so to speak, after i was trying for ten minutes to open it ... to no avail. Because the number structure at the entrance to the house, which I thought was a code lock, was none at all, but the bell of the house. New for me. The highlight is that you select the apartment using the number combinations. Easy....if you know it.
...so in that case....type in apartment 16 as numbers.... Then the doorbell rings at the right place. Unfortunately, I was just too stupid for this and my hostess just came out the door by coincidence and she accompanied me upstairs. She shows me everything ... my bunk, my locker, the bathroom. And she tells me - quite casually - that a very, very young Russian high-performance sports girl class has basically taken over the hostel for itself.
Sooooo..... «I am the only man and also adult in the 10 man...no.... girl dormitory?!« Well started! Slapping my hand against my forehead in my thoughts. Together with 16 year old girls in the dormitory. Well done, Sascha....your an expert in idioty. At least it won't get boring now. Let's see what the night brings here
My thoughts tell me .... «either the girls really turn up at night- in the manner in which I remember my youth hostel trips in my past - or they are in bed at 9 and there is dead silence in the hostel.« Due to the presence of two supervisors, who OF COURSE sleep in the neighboring hotel, I guess the latter and am therefore right gold ..... which is why I also type these lines on my cell phone to help the girls 10pm Not to be unnecessarily disturbed.
Early in bed .... the day was also exhausting ... a little sleep is good for me. I'm really tired, even though it was only a short flight of just under 3 hours. But what really bothered me was the little story at Düsseldorf Airport in the past morning.....
After Peter - my good friend - picked me up from home at 7:30 am in Cologne for the drive to the airport. Luckily sunday morning traffic to Düsseldorf was surprisingly manageable and we were at the airport much too early at 8:30 a.m.
«Lets get a really nice and relaxed breakfast!« we say. «The plane is departing at 11. A lot of time, man«
Unsuspecting that we for sure will have breakfast, unfortunately fast track and just a half one, because we have to leave half of it, Especially and have to leave the damn to haszafahasa toooo hot coffee that i really needed after that very bad night and early wake up this morning.
But back to the beginning ..... We encounter the check-in...... relaaaaxed at 9 ... it should already be open ... and the queue also gives hope for that. But there is no
movement....as it should be. «Yeah..the queue at a check- in should definitely move« tells me my beachhead experience.
The staff seems to be missing something to open the counter. We haven't figured out anything yet either ... no comment by aeroflot. The airline i will take. ......until 9:40 a.m....then the everything moves and the check in opens. ....still without comment and als without smile by the way. But okay. Didn't pay for that, right? Okay ... boarding is still at 10:25 a.m. as planned....without checkin «no comment« dilemma. 35 minutes left. ....i still have to go through security check and international passport control .... could become tight....maybe.
Fortunately, it seems we are kind of really in front of the queue ... we were there early. at 9:50 am .. It's our turn .... Backpack on the luggage belt.... the guitar is my hand luggage ...
i thought. But the politely unpolite flight attendant had kind of an other opinion. «Uh, no. The guitar doesn't come along like this, «says the slightly gruff blonde flight attendant behind the counter. «You have to check them in.«. I reply: «It's only half a guitar,« and show my very small travel guitar. . For the flights and the Trans-Siberian, I bought a guitar that is only half the size of a normal one. According to the baggage regulations of the airlines never a problem ... not according to my research at Aeroflot either.
«Yes, but the dimensions are too big. You have to take a closer look to our terms and conditions!«she follows up. Yeah....i thought i did....«That costs 50 euros extra.« «What a great service and polite start for my trip«, I think by myself .
«For payment you have to go to the aeroflot counter« she said.
«Okay. Where's that?« We ask. «In Terminal B« ...Of course we are in C ... shortly before 10 o clock. «Aaaand....Oh« she added «the backpack also has to rechecked in at the bulky luggage counter» The journey begins. ...with its little detours...that i expected...but not already now.
So then we hurry from the Aeroflot counter back in Terminal C to the bulky luggage counter.. «Good thing Peter is here with me« I think. Done.
Off to Terminal B ... pay for the guitar ... and back. But of course the nice employee has a surprise for us and says «You're flying to St.Petersburg, right?« I reply in a little sarcastic sounds...- he didn't get luckily - «Uh, according to the ticket, mmmmhh... yes i think. Whats the problem?« «You probably swapped first and last names when booking.« he answers. «Äähhhh. What have I done? I thought I am able to read» Apparently not.
»Then you are not on the list! Because your last name is your first and so on. That can be problematic! Do not forget that Russia is not Mallorca! You will get there, but maybe they won't let you in«
Because my last name is my first and my first name my last?!?! «mhhhh....maybe the russians can read...and think«, I think. Different to the staff worker obviously.
That would be pretty stupid to start with, I think, while Peter relaxes the situation with a little chit cha with the staff. «Have you ever been there - in Russia?« We ask. «No, unfortunately not.« he answers. Yeahhhhh..... I think my part a little pissed and we just go ... back to the bulky luggage counter.
Already after 10. «Mmmm ... hungry.« I haven't eaten or drank anything yet. No idea how the entry is going. In doubt there is nothing for a while. A little breakfast and a good coffee. Thats what I need before starting this trip. Even if there is no time.
Luckily Peter saw a nice café on the way..... at the Aeroflot counter..We have 5 minutes. Order. Sit down. Push the bun in my stomach. Scald myself on the melting hot coffee. Stand up again.
«Okay now I have to go«. i say. I hug Peter and we go our separate ways. So great that one of my best friends was there while starting my trip. Thank you Peter.
10:15 am .... Fortunately, there is not much going on with security. So I am fast through ..... 10:25 at the gate. Boarding 5 minutes later. And then I just start.
A short 3 hours flight pushes me into my little one year adventure. Doesn't feel like this at the moment. More like a business trip. But I am here in Russia.
At the airport I get rubles and a cell phone card for Russia. Unlimited high speed internet for 12 euros a month plus 800 free minutes ... okay Germany ... look to the east. This is cheap.
Due to the time difference in St. Petersburg, metro ride, getting money and cell phone card I only arrive at the hostel around 6pm. But of course I need to go out to see the first city of my trip. I can't wait.
I ask the hostel owner for a recommendation about what to eat. I want to enjoy the first great foreign meal and I am so excited what special food he will recommend. His andwer: «Yeah...there is a KFC around the corner«.. Okay ..... no not right now. This is not want i wanted. Okay. Then I explore on my own, as i always do. To find my way. And the russian local food. Of course....My first stop is then a pelmeni restaurant. The small filled russian dumplings ...a russian national dish. Delicious.
And in addition I order an extra strong coffee. Just to fulfill the coffein expectation of my body that i started and not finished at the airport in the morning. Otherwise I would have really fallen asleep.
But i don't want to sleep. Even if it was a little stressful day and not like i expected by the feeling. My head is still in germany.
So i take few more rounds through the alleys and I somehow wake up again! Even if i am exhausted...my eyes get big.
Why? I have never seen so many beauties of the opposite sex in such density. No matter where I look! St. Petersburg is kind of the biggest waiting track for models in Europe who also like to live in hostels and are waiting for jobs or discovery. Wow. That could be sooo great. And what do i habe. A school class in my hostel. No models.
And so the first day of the world tour ends ... Relieving the stress, somehow calm and exhausted but with sweet dreams for the next day. «And hopefully the youth team won't be squeaking around the room at 6 a.m. « I think when i close my eyes. Ready for the real first day of my adventure.