This is a true story as evidenced by the photos seen above. My friends and I were walking down Nevskii Prospect, crossing the Neva river when we spotted a baby bear. That’s right, a baby bear just chilling on a bench drinking orange juice from a bottle like it was toddler. Only in Russia. Ensorcelled by the baby bear we approached and inquired about the price to take a picture with the baby bear. It cost 200 Rubles or about $6.
The bear looked so sweet and innocent drinking its juice and given that it was Lindsay’s birthday, we decided that she must have a picture with it. I was a little concerned about both the safety of the bear and the safety of Lindsay but that did not stop me from snapping some great photo ops. The fact that he was drinking orange juice (something not even that healthy for humans), smelled as though he hadn’t been bathed in weeks and was generally indicative of an animal cruelty issue in Russia left me somewhat uneasy about supporting the venture. But seriously, its a bear! In the middle of a park in a major cosmopolitan city. Moscow can keep its feral dogs…
I was also concerned for Lindsay’s well-being. As she so eloquently put it,”Did you see that thing’s claws? If that bear decided he didn’t like orange juice anymore I might be missing an eyeball right now. That would not make for a happy birthday.” But fortunately she came out of the process unscathed, inspiring me to pay the 200 Rubles for an opportunity to hug a bear. But just as I was reaching in my purse to pull out the money the bear proceeded to throw up all the juice it had just drunk on itself and there was no way I was going near that.
His honey jar.
Greetings from Russia. I made it– I’m finally here and so far everything is exceeding expections. But where to begin on my adventures thus far? The severe lack of internet connectivity in my life coupled with being in class from 9am to 8pm every night has left me living in a vacuum. Today is the first time in the past week I have read the New York Times. I had no idea that Michigan had beat Minnesota or that a helicopter had crashed in New York City; on the one hand, unplugging has had considerable therapeutic effects but it has also left me in the dark.
The trip began with a small hiccup that turned into a nice adventure. Ironies aside, I was stranded in Warsaw for 24 hours last Saturday. This time, however, the cause was not due to a lack of proper paperwork and an abundance of idiocy, but rather a delayed flight and a missed connection in Warsaw. Fortunately, while waiting in a line that lacked logical progression for four hours I met another girl in the course I was headed for in Saint Petersburg. Our many similarities quickly became apparent and I realized that I had just met my first friend. Hooray!
We eagerly accepted the free hotel room voucher from Lot Airlines and headed into Warsaw for the night to check it out. And let me just say that before I had ever stepped foot in Poland it had been my favorite country. Having stepped foot in it only seals the deal for me. Warsaw was awesome and full of really good vibes. My new friend Lindsay and I sat in the Oldtown square and drank giant glasses of Pilsner Urquells’ and ruminated on our past adventure in Russia and all of the ones yet to be had. It was the perfect way to begin my trip!
More to come soon!!