From Siberia with love (Part 2): The Saint Petersburg dream

From Siberia with love (Part 2): The Saint Petersburg dream

I told Misha that I was coming to Russia after a year I left Sochi. He said I should come to Saint Petersburg, the most beautiful city in Russia with the white night. So I decided to stay with them for a couple of days and we would meet in a metro station in Saint Petersburg.

Surrounded by the canals, the underground in Saint Petersburg was so deep. Walking down to the platform was a kind of dreamy experience. Amidst the crowd in the station, I saw Liza on the other side. Then we ran to each other and had a big hug. Someone captured the moment with the camera. It was Misha.

When I came to their place, I saw a small black cat. “His name is Anatoly. He comes from Sochi.” Misha said, “He evolves from your landlord to our cat.” We laughed.

“Do you still enjoy reading and writing, Brian?” Liza asked.

Misha’s humour and Liza’s question reminded me that there was a kind of friends whom you may not meet them often but they know you and your past so well.

They showed me around the city and told me the stories of Saint Petersburg. Until very mid-night, Liza was in bed but Misha told me their life stories in the balcony.

The happy couple wasn’t always happy. Getting married in their early twenties, the outside world appeared too interesting, but distracting. With the same kind of curiosity, they were both unsure about a committed relationship. They both wanted to try and explore more about this fascinating world.

Then Liza went to Saint Petersburg, leaving Misha alone in Siberia. Later they were both with someone else.

“Despite separation for a couple of years, I still thought of her in those days.” Misha said, “So I realised that the new relationship wasn’t right for me.”

Since then, as Misha described, he had gone through a tough period of lifetime. He was overwhelmed by a sense of loneliness but being with someone else only made him feel lonelier. So he was lonely but chose to stay single and alone.

One day he decided to call Liza and proposed a meeting in Saint Petersburg. “She didn’t sound interested until I said ‘I need your signature for the document of divorce’.” His tactics worked well and they confirmed a meeting on a bridge.

Before the meeting, Misha withdrew 10,000 rubles for a big feast with Liza. He put his cash in the pocket of his jacket.

The moment when they saw each other from the different side of the bridge, they pretended to be calm and walked slowly to the other side. But once they saw each other in the eyes, they knew they couldn’t lie.

Sitting in a café, they talked about many things – the city of Saint Petersburg, other good reads and their life without each other.

Instead of showing the document of divorce, Misha proposed getting back together.

“She smiled in the way that I knew her answer without a second guess,” Misha said.

When he was about to ask for the bill before another walk with Liza, he couldn’t find the10,000 rubles in his pocket.

“It was a bit unfortunate. But on that day, I still felt like the luckiest person alive.”

Looking at Misha, he smiled in the way that I could imagine the joy of the happy couple in Saint Petersburg.

Since that evening, I never ask Lisa and Misha again where they plan to go. I know no matter where they go, they will stay together.

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About Brian Yeung

Growing up in Hong Kong, pearl of the orient, I have been exposed to many cultures throughout my upbringing, from Sushi to British Top Talents and Tetris. And yet, after my stay in Europe, Russia and Southeast Asia for study and work, I realise a lot of cultural perception and presentation are just myths and stereotypes. Exploring the real accent of a particular country and its culture becomes my agenda of traveling. I value travel as a way to discover the diversity of life choices. After all, life is just the consequence of our many life choices; the one who is aware of its diversity is the luckiest person alive.

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