Interesting Experience

Today on the bus back from university there were some tourists speaking English. I don’t know where they were from because although they were speaking English, they had a bit of an accent. I think English might have been their second language. Anyway, they kept asking if anyone knew how to get to the yacht club. Everyone on the bus was looking at them with incredible curiosity. Some Russians who spoke English even engaged them and tried to help them. But they themselves didn’t seem to know where they wanted to go. Who knew there was a yacht club (apparently more than one, actually) in St. Petersburg? I didn’t speak to them because frankly I couldn’t help them and I didn’t want to mark myself out as a tourist either. But I found it especially interesting how, when they looked at me, they seemed to think I was Russian. The fact that I could blend in like that and be mistaken for a Russian seemed like a positive step forward, toward some sort of cultural integration. I don’t know exactly what it means but it was enjoyable at the time. Plus it was nice to eavesdrop on their conversation, that’s something I’ve realized I miss about being in America (or any English-speaking country for that matter). By eavesdropping I don’t mean it in the negative sense, such as listening in on people’s conversations, but simply that it’s nice to be able to understand what’s going on around me and what people are saying. Something I took for granted before but, oddly enough, I miss a lot.


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