July 11, 2004

Voyage to the end of public transportation

Posted by Curt at 03:33 PM in Ramblings | TrackBack

As I may or may not have remembered to mention before I left, I have spent most of the last month in Europe, starting in Sweden (after a very brief but interesting stop-over in London), then to Norway, then to Barcelona, then to St. Petersburg, Russia by way of Helsinki. I could probably write a book about my impressions right now, but rather than burdening you with such a load, I thought that I might solicit questions from any of you that are curious about any aspect of the places that I visited or about my journey itself or really anything else. I thought about trying out this method because I was visiting the fringes of Europe, maybe what might be callled the extremes of Europe, northern Europe, southern Europe and eastern Europe, where, while certain traits commonly associated with Europe seem heightened or exaggerated, the environment is very different than that of the core of Europe, i.e. Britain, France, Italy, Germany and the Low Countries. Coupled with the fact that the places I visited are a bit less visited (at least by Americans) and a bit more out of the way than those countries, I thought some of you might be curious or interested in my opinions about them. Certain of the broad stereotypes regarding them are definitely false, such as the idea that families and the institution of marriage have dissolved in Scandinavia (I saw probably more parents walking infants in strollers, usually both parents together, than I have anyplace else that I have been, including America—an impression confirmed by a fellow-traveler from Costa Rica) or that Russia is a lawless, mafia-ruled gangland (I felt safer there than I generally do in any large American urban centers), while others are for the most part true—prices are indeed astronomical in Scandinavia and Russians will drink just about anything by the shot, including Grand Marnier. Anyway, if you would like to ask me a question about my trip, please leave one for me in the comment-box or e-mail me. Of course, if a few days go by with no response, I can always elaborate with long, rambling anecdotes, but I would at least like to try this little experiment with dialectical communication in the hope that I may be able to provide something a little more focused on what people are interested in.

p.s. There will also be pictues a subito.


Hey Curt-Lots of questions. How long were you in St. P? What sights did you see? Where you there for the White Nights? What clubs did you go to? Elaborate on your impressions of the city/Russia. Did you learn any Russian?
My apologies--I just got back from Russia (Siberia, capping off with a month in Moscow) and didn't get to visit Peter, which absolutely killed me. Hearing about your experience will alleviate some of that...Thanks for indulging me.

Posted by: Brooke at July 12, 2004 11:59 PM