I had very few positive experiences in Russia but one of them I got to enjoy long after leaving the border. Her name was Anastasia and we met on a moonlit shore…no wait, that was a movie I once saw. This Anastasia worked at the front desk of the hotel where I was a guest in St.Petersburg. There were no fireworks, no love at first sight, none of that standard movie garbage. I found her attractive and so one night I just sat with her and we talked for hours. The next day I left for Moscow with her phone number.
We talked maybe once a week and enjoyed each other conversations. After a couple of months I asked her to meet me. She agreed but there were issues. She being Russian and me American meant that we neededvisas to visit each others countries. Luckily this didn’t matter as I was living in Poland at the time. But then a bigger issue popped up. She was afraid of flying. So me being the nice guy that I am offered to meet her in Helsinki, since it is only a bus ride from St.Petersburg. So there we met, on Valentines Day. I remember nothing of the city except for the unbelieveable cold. Nothing in my life has ever come close to that feeling. Not even standing in a freezer. So we spent all our time in the hotel. It was a wonderful few days.
We decided to meet again a few weeks later but in a warmer location. Barcelona was chosen. How she got over her fear of flying I will never know. Again it was a wonderful few days. Barcelona is a beautiful city in Winter and I was with a beautiful girl. My life was complete. It was but an illusion though and disappeared after a few days.
Life continued on for a few months until she decided to come to Poland to see me. She rode the train for an ungodly amount of time and we spent a few days together in Warsaw and Torun. These would be our final few days together. We would continue talking for years but our beliefs were too different to make a relationship work.
Not a storybook romance, though our meeting was a lot more interesting than most modern stories of internet romance. I got to see two cities that I might not have seen otherwise, though it doesn’t really count for much as my attention was somewhere else. Overall it was an enjoyable experience that taught me a lot about love and how the cultures and circumstances we are raised in affect our beliefs. I find roses, chocolates, champagne, and saying I love you so boring and Hollywood but she loved such things. C’est la vie