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Visibility Poor

Trying to find a hotel in a good spot in St. Petersburg, I found hockeyarenas.net, which had a map/location feature.  Unfortunately, the default setting was to “satellite.”  All I could see were gray clouds.  Apparently it was not a good weather day in the area.

The good news is, there is a metro station right near the arena.

The bad news is, I can’t find a cheap hotel near a metro station.  Also, I am not sure I am okay with taking the metro at night anyway, though surely hockey fans are hockey fans everywhere and if one were to  insert oneself into a mob of same, one would probably be looked after as a member of the flock.

Sigh.  It cannot be an adventure without a little risk.

A friend gave me Eat, Pray, Love some months ago.  She gave it to me when I first started talking about running off to Omsk.  I think it was intended to give me some guidance in this strange stage of my life, the “I need to get the hell away” stage.  I imagine it has helped many people find some clarity, clear the haze of confusion that sometimes feels like crazy.

I have not read it.  I have a sense of what it is about from the movie promos, the blurb on the back, and the first page.  It is not fair to judge a book by its back cover, but I found that description unappealing.  The same goes for movies based on books- really no relation.  For this reason, I try not to judge the Twilight series by the movies.  I know some perfectly discriminating people who enjoyed the books, though I despise the movies.  So, all I can judge the book Eat, Pray, Love by is the first page, beyond which I cannot seem to move.

I do recognize that some frenzied need for change and adventure is probably driving me here, as it did the woman in that book, but I have not been able to follow her adventure because that first page is such a slog.

I did try to find some tour group that does this.  Aside from various agencies that send sports teams to interesting places to meet other sports teams, I could find nothing.  Not even a site selling game tickets online.  Probably there is one in Russian, but I am not ready to trust google translate with a credit card transaction.  I may be trying to reinvent the wheel here, but I have been unable to find one ready made.

US government agencies can be relied on to do certain things on time, even early.  Like cash your tax payments, or send you notices of late car registration, stuff like that.  Most things that we want them to do quickly they do not.

So imagine my surprise when, only 8 days after submitting my renewal request, the US passport people emailed me to say I should have my passport in my hands day after tomorrow.  When I checked and checked and checked the status of my application on the website, all I found was a mention that it was being processed and they anticipated 2-3 weeks processing time door to door.  Maybe they need help updating their website.

There was a moment of glee, then a moment of panic.  “But wait!  I am not ready to have my passport… I don’t have my game tickets yet!”  I explained this to Dimitry, the travel agent I found via my visit to the Russian Consulate.  “But the game tickets will not affect the visa processing at all,” he explained calmly.

Silly.  I know that.

He also did have information about game tickets.  Yes, they can be obtained.  They are not very expensive, compared to NHL tickets.  But they do not go on sale until a week before the game.  Calamity!  The control freak in me is screaming her head off and stamping her feet.  I am forced to proceed in a cloud of uncertainty.

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