After all the group has stuffed themselves with a classic Russian dinner, we sometimes meet up to explore new locations (mostly bars). I would like to detail two nights I have had recently that capture the two extremes of nightlife here.
To give a full picture of how wild a night can get, let me tell you about my Saturday night/Sunday morning.
Around 9 pm, I left my apartment and wonderful host mother to meet up with some of the group. We took the metro to Nevsky (the main street) and ended up at an Irish pub. It is always an interesting experience with the waiters and waitresses her who go between Russian and English often to serve us. The waiter this evening was great (as most are). We left this pub around 11:30 pm. Some of the group was ready to go home (considering the metro stops running at 12:30, this is the easiest way to ensure a simple ride home). I, however, was feeling like being adventurous and stayed out with my gal pal. We headed to a street called Doomskaya, which has a lot of dance clubs (I know the name sounds terrible). The club called SSSR striked our fancy, so we entered. It was pretty small and calm when we entered. We got a sticker! There were portraits of communist leaders on the walls. I doubt any of them approve of this activity. The music was mostly Russian pop, but they played Rhianna’s “Umbrella” (what a throwback!). Other than that, I did not any of the songs. We stayed at this club for about an hour or so, and then headed for the bridge to cross back to our beloved island. It was about 1 am when we arrived at the bridge, so it was time for it to OPEN.
This meant that we were trapped on the mainland until it closed hours later. 😦 We decided to try to contact some of group that had gone to another location for the night, and eventually, we found them. They were heading to the club scene we had just left, which meant I walked in a very large circle. By the time I reached the club, I was exhausted and did not have any energy to dance. Some of the others were also tired, so we went to a 24 hour Starbucks to rest our feet before trudging home. Towards the bridge we went at around 4:15 am. We arrived at the bridge at 4:45 am and crossed. The Brightside was there was no traffic, so I got to see the dead city. There was also the sunrise happening (after a 5 hour period of somewhat darkness)! Once across the bridge, it was still a 40 minute walk to my apartment or a 30 minute wait for the metro to open. I chose the metro because it seemed all around more comfortable. It was surprising how many people were wandering around at 5:30 am. I finally arrived home around 6:15 am. My host mom was actually awake and called to me with a bit of a chuckle. She offered to feed me, but I just wanted to sleep. I slept for about 5 hours and felt surprisingly fine. I even went exploring since it was a beautiful day and found a nice beach off the Gulf of Finland about 10 minutes from my apartment.
In conclusion, this was an exhausting evening that reconfirms my previous inclinations that all-nighters are not for me, but it was an experience I am glad I had. I got to experience the club life, watch the bridge open, and observe early morning life in Peter. 🙂
In contrast to this exhaustingly memorable night, let me tell you about my wonderful Monday night. We did not have class the next day because of an excursion that started at 11 am, so we could responsibly hang at night. I suggested that we meet at 9 pm and head to the beach to watch the sunset. We picked up some alcohol from the local grocery store, and drank on the beach like true natives. There are not really any open container rules besides hard liquor, and even that I am not sure. We sat around on the sand and talked as the sun lowered.
It was absolutely beautiful to watch and such a peaceful evening regardless of the Russian boy who asked for cigarettes and then said some profane nonsense about Trump. We took some silhouette photos as we watched the moon rise on the opposite side of the sky.
It was amazingly clear this night, which is a rarity in Peter. We headed home around 11 pm (the sun still was not completely set). This was my ideal evening!
There are wild nights and calm ones. A balance of the two is necessary to make the most of my time here.