Get from Moscow to Saint Petersburg on a particular day, starting at a particular time, and on a particular train.
I don’t read Russian! Nor do I have a grasp on the phonetics of the alphabet, although I can now successfully remember/guess the sounds of some letters and thus near-cognates (e.g., “ДOKУMEHTA” is probably something about a document, although Google Translate throws up its hands).
The trip to Russia is in planning–our traveling companion is researching hotels (so we can get visas!) and sight-seeing destinations in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
What’s been surprising me is how much negativity I get when I tell people I’m planning a visit to Russia. “It’s depressing!” (with pictures like the one to the right) “Don’t go to XYZ!” “It’s super-dangerous!” “The USSR?!”
It’s disappointing that my friends and colleagues have little other than (relatively uninformed, I think) skepticism and dire warnings. I find wonder in so many things; a few pictures from the internet don’t suffice to satisfy or discourage that. I might choose not to visit an active damn war zone. I might choose not to flirt with women or gender-bend in a homophobic country. I might also choose not to travel alone.
But as someone who still marvels at standing at the edge of a country or continent in their own damn state, how can I pass up an opportunity for this kind of experience?
Big Fat Deal » The Rhetoric Of The “Real” Woman – Hear, hear. "[…] the whole “eat a sandwich, I’m a real woman!” dialogue is damaging in its own way. It keeps women running after and policing each other in a little circle of body obsession, while men get to go off and run the world."
"Whether or not fatness or gayness is easily measured or authenticated is irrelevant. Whether or not fatness or gayness is biologically inherent is irrevelant. What’s important here is the suggestion that certain people are owed humiliation for looking a certain way."