St Petersburg : brief impressions

St PETERSBURG:  Russians do not smile much and a journey into the centre reveals why.  Near the brand new port set in a flattened bleak landscape a six lane highway leads nowhere.  Cordoned off at each end, the locals sit on the central reservation and picnic; evidence that such surroundings are an improvement on the urban sprawl where they live.  Vast tenements reach upwards and outwards along the coast; this is not some hangover from the Soviet regime because they are building yet more.  This does not look a happy place.  I am reading Kathleen Jamie’s Sightlines – the third essay, The Woman in the Field ends:  You are placed in the landscape, you are placed in time.  But, within that, there’s a bit of room for manoeuvre.  To some extent, you can be author of your own fate.  True in the West, less so here.  So they seek alternatives.

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