saint valentines

i haven't had even a moment to think about tomorrow.

d's birthday also falls on valentine's day so we always celebrate with cake and champagne. as it so happens my parents planned to have a valentine's baby as well, i just wasn't ready to come out yet when the day arrived. with my birthday just a few days after d's, we almost always take a trip together instead of exchanging big gifts. 

last year finland, this year will be budapest.
we're taking off on friday for a week of thermal spas, museums, ruin bars and catching up with friends.


post-siberian syndrome

pss //

the trouble with blog posts after such incredible trips is that i never know where to start.
the beginning? how cliché.
the end? everyone who wants to avoid the beginning does that.

enfin on y se trouve au milieu // saltando por un lado al otro

i can say three things for certain after travelling across siberia, through russia and recuperating in st. petersburg for almost a week.

one - russia is not at all what i expected (duh). what i do expect is that you cannot even get a glimpse at this country unless you've been there. soviet architecture is big enough to make anyone feel small. the enchanting wooden houses of siberia feel like a world away from the dominating concrete blocks of moscow. find your way into a bar and you'll meet (very quickly) some of the most open and kind hearted people in the world. i think the only reason that russians have a cold exterior is because their face is frozen into a frown. get a couple of drinks in them and you'll be hearing life stories in both your ears.

two - i thought canada was big, until i travelled by train all the way across russia. we boarded the first train in vladivostok, a short jump away from north korea on the japanese sea. the last train i took was from moscow to st. petersburg. whichever way you look at it, that's more than 10,000km. while i have travelled across canada by car, it didn't feel nearly as expansive as russia did. endless birch forests, endless fields of snow, mountains, frozen rivers, scattered small villages of wooden houses, chimneys smoking.

three - cognac can keep you alive. this is far different from you can live on cognac. the day we trekked out to lake baikal i was over-exhausted, cold and hadn't eaten much that morning. we were standing outside, many of our group were jumping into the lake. at some point, all i could see where white sparkles in my vision and i totally "blacked" out (more like whited out) and i woke up in a snowbank a second later. a few minutes in a warm bus and a few swigs of cognac did the trick.