Yesterday after reading a lovely post by Sandy Millin with wonderful pictures of the Crimea that I love soooo much I decided to post about my favourite place of visiting, but to add some self-development flavor and somehow things connected to language learning. And here goes. Today my post is not related to ELT, but who told I was going to post only about those things? 🙂
I love Saint Petersburg very much, or simply, I am crazy about that. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world, let alone Russia and places I’ve ever visited. I’m not really into quoting phrases from guidebooks, but it is true that this place is incredibly awesome and just gorgeous. My love for it is very old, I visited this city for the first time when I was a schoolgirl. Then I worked for several years (or it’s better to say “summers” for a tour agency, so I travelled there almost every weekend as a part of my working project during summer holidays when I was a student). Now I travel to St.Pete every 2-3 months and this city deserves the prize for the most popular place of the year where I can just walk along Nevskiy avenue for about 3-5 hours on foot, enjoying the views, taking photos of cathedrals and palaces, eating ice-cream, visiting small and cozy coffee shops, sitting on benches in the embankments of the Neva river and feeling myself like a St.Pete citizen who enjoys walking there every single day.
One more thing I found out in St.Pete a year ago is a speaking club of the company World Language Café. All meetings take place in a café where the organizers invite a native speaker. So every Sunday there’s a Spanish Breakfast meeting where a native speaker from Spain or Latin America comes to talk to those who want to improve their Spanish skills. In my case it is Spanish, I use it as my second foreign language and I’m quite fluent in it. And World Language Café organizes meetings with native speakers of other popular foreign languages: English, French, Italian, German and even Finnish.
I found my first experience very inviting to keep on attending those meetings and I do it regularly (when coming to the city) and what I really like about it is that I know that however busy I am during my visit, I am always free on Sunday for the Spanish meeting. I know I’ll have 2 hours of speaking and listening, and discussing and socializing, but also I’ll have a hometask (usually consisting of an article to be read or a survey to be completed). That really does not matter I won’t come the next weekend, the point is a follow-up task that needs to be done and I always enjoy doing it.
I love socializing and those Spanish meetings were very nice place to do it. When I’m going to visit, I usually write to 3-4 people I really want to see and they always come. Because they love to see me. It’s just amazing and almost unbelievable. They know I live far from them and they want to see me my every visit. There are quite a few people who are English teachers, so we always have common topics for discussion. Despite the fact that we live far from each other, we are very glad to meet again and share the news.
So to conclude… Looking back, I wanted to make this post informative and pleasant for reading and I wanted to focus on something important: things that make me happy and people who make me smile 🙂 I don’t know if anybody is going to like this post, but I’d say I enjoyed writing it and it turned to be very personal and… today I’m leaving for St.Pete and I’m attending my favourite Spanish Breakfast on Sunday with my friends.
Have a nice weekend and thanks for reading!
Me and my son Yaroslav on a very cold June day (2015). St. Petersburg 🙂