Hello everyone! It’s Russian with Dasha, today on my channel the guest is Yulia from the Russian Connection channel. Hey! Hi Julia, I’m very glad to see you! So do I. Julia came to St. Petersburg for just a few days, and we managed to meet literally for an hour and a half. I kept thinking about what to ask Yulia… Yulia, tell us about yourself: who you are, what you do and where you live.
00:30 - This is a very difficult question because there is so much to say. I am Julia, I teach Russian, I am, in general, a linguistic freak, I love languages very much - I constantly learn them, I always work with languages. Now I live in Barcelona, and before I lived in St. Petersburg, when I was studying at the Faculty of Philology at St. Petersburg State University - that was in 2006, and until 2015 I lived in St. Petersburg for almost ten years, so I would say that I associate myself a little with St.
Petersburg. On the one hand, it was comfortable, on the other hand, maybe not very comfortable, I will tell you later why. Okay. Mainly because of the weather, but I really love St. Petersburg and I know it well, I spent here most memorable years, the brightest impressions, so I always like to come here, but now I live in Barcelona. Firstly, I am very interested, has the city changed over the years when you lived in Barcelona? It has.
02:05 - I left in 2015 and since then I no longer live in St. Petersburg. I think that the city has changed in the first place in terms of technology. It seems to me that it has become easier to get some documents. Everything is automated now, even buying a card on the metro, issuing some cards at a bank, if we talk about bureaucracy, I think that wthe system has been upgraded. It is much more convenient, especially when comparing with Barcelona, where I live, and with Buenos Aires, where I used to live before.
02:50 - We are pretty good in terms of technology, for example, the Internet. I really love the fact that there are no problems with the Internet in Russia and in St. Petersburg in particular. When I arrive, on the same day I get a mobile Internet plan for myself, and this is always the Internet that works well, it is very affordable. Yes, it’s always fast internet, and if you are watching from the USA - I have several students from the USA - so, guys, our internet is better.
Why do you love this city and why don’t? What do you hate it for? Love and hatred. In fact, it is in my heart - love and hatred for St. Petersburg crossed a little bit. Of course, when I moved here, I think the same thing happened to me as happened to you and to most people who come to St. Petersburg - this is to come for the first time and fall in love, want to stay forever. Of course, the city absolutely captivated me with its beauty.
04:08 - The first time I came when I was 9 or ten years old. Since my hometown is Cherepovets, it is located not far from St. Petersburg, and many people go to St. Petersburg for weekends or vacations, so I have already begun to explore it since childhood, and, of course, this is a city with a special atmosphere, first of all, because it has such an atmosphere of students, one might say, of the intelligentsia.
04:43 - People read more, I think, here, more interested in art. Of course, there are a lot of theaters, museums, exhibitions - whatever, that is, cultural life is in full swing. This is what we just discussed in the video that I filmed with Dasha, the previous one. Cultural life is in full swing. I don’t think that one day the question may arise: “What should I do today?” - there is always something to do, and this, of course, is a definite plus. If we compare Petersburg with most big cities in the world, yes, and this makes him fall in love with it, and plus, of course, very beautiful European-style architecture.
For me, it’s like a mix of the best examples of architecture from all over Europe, and it’s all in one city! This is Venice, canals, and Stockholm a little bit, Paris a little bit, Amsterdam, and even Oslo. It’s like a mix of all European architectural gems, it’s lovely! Many parks.
05:57 - I really like that there are many beautiful, well-groomed parks, for example, where we are filming a video now. And of course, take a look! But what I didn’t like was the weather in the first place. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who are greatly influenced by the weather. I know that there are people for whom the weather is not important, and even those people who like rain, like cloudy weather - I also know such people, but I am not one of them. I love the sun, it is very important for me to see the sun every day, for example, walking in a jacket for two weeks - it already bothers me a little.
I love when it’s warm. Tell me, what was the weather like in Cherepovets? What was the warmest and coldest temperature? I think, more or less like here, but the lowest temperature that I remember is -30, I think, -36 degrees - it did not fall below, but I remember that at -27 degrees, schoolchildren have the right to stay at home, which means we don’t have to go to school. I remember this moment - it quite often happened when we look at the thermometer and expect -27, that is, if it is -25 or -26, we have to go to school, but if -27, we can already stay at home, so we looked at the thermometer, waiting for the temperature to drop.
Listen, you are lucky, because I am from Siberia, where even the 40-degree frost sometimes did not stop anyone. If we are talking about the weather in St. Petersburg, I, for example, like it more than in Siberia, because there are no such sharp temperature changes.
07:49 - In Siberia, +40 in summer and -40 in winter, not always, of course, it happens only a week or two weeks a year. You walk and realise that your fingers no longer feel anything. It annoyed me a little, so here what I like is that there are no such sharp drops, as I said, no frost and no such strong heat, and here I am more comfortable, but yes, as you said, there is not enough sun, this is especially felt in winter. In March, the sun already appears, but in winter… First, the sunny day is short: it gets dark early, as, for example, in Sweden, in the Scandinavian countries. Yes, many people go to work - they do not see the sun; when they return from work, they do not see the sun.
08:46 - Yes, and that’s why you want to go somewhere for at least two weeks to finally see the sun, that’s why many people love Asian countries or Spain and Italy, like to spend the winter there. Okay, Yulia, tell me please, when I came to Russia from the USA - I spent a whole summer in the USA and then a whole year in Thailand - I was immediately struck by how gloomy people are, in Novosibirsk, at least. Did you have a feeling that people here do not look as happy as, for example, in Europe? Not as welcoming as in Europe.
Of course, there is a difference in behaviour and mentality, depends on each country in Europe, because Europe is also very large, but I can compare with my experience. In principle, since I lived for several years in Argentina and after that in Barcelona, Catalonia, of course, the mentality is quite contrasting, for example, there are things in which our mentality is similar, but there is behavior and frowning - yes, this is what we are different. I think it depends on our thinking, since in the Russian mentality there is no goal to be happy.
10:26 - What is our goal? To suffer? Yes, it seems to me that modern people like you guys are of course a different generation, but if you look at the older generation, I say, of course, in accordance with my experience, those people who surrounded me: my family, my relatives, my friends, and, of course, this can be a very subjective opinion, because I do not know all the people in Russia, but, for example, in my family you cannot say that you want to be happy, because a person must suffer.
This is on the subconscious, and for me it was a great contrast, because always being happy is very selfish. “Why are you happy here? Go to work!” Firstly, “Don’t laugh - you will cry later”, “who laughs a lot - he cries a lot”, “that you smile like a fool” or “happiness loves silence”. It is not customary to talk about happiness out loud - I said this in one of my podcasts. People do not like to talk, it seems to me, about their achievements. That’s for sure! They like to talk more about problems.
I actually agree with Julia about the fact that we rarely share our achievements, because I think it’s all coming out of the Soviet era, when it was a shame to somehow stand out from the crowd, it was shameful to talk about how great you did the job, because the work was collective, and “we all achieved this success together,” and no one was interested in your personal successes. Everyone said: “Well, why are you trying to show that you are better than others?” And so on, but this can be said about the older generation, for example, about the generations of my grandmothers.
One of my grandmothers lives in Siberia, she also said: “Girls, laughter for no reason is a sign of foolishness” - when my sister and I giggled. By the way, there is a video about my grandmother on the channel, it is called My tough Siberian babushka - my tough grandmother. She is very strong, hardworking, she has always been content with less, and this trait - to be content with having less - was popular among Russians. I am happy that now everything is changing, now we are already striving to develop and not hesitate to talk about our successes, about our achievements.
I think this is very valuable. And in general, questions of personal happiness, self-knowledge, now very often arise. What we discuss with our friends - we talk about health, mental health, we get to know ourselves, we try to understand how our childhood may have influenced our self-esteem, and so on, that is, it is internal work and internal development. So, we somehow moved on to the topic of development. What may have surprised me at first in countries such as Spain and Argentina is that people are very relaxed, and this, I think, is what distinguishes our people.
Our people are very tense in the sense that work is very important for us, it is important for us to work and, I think, for many it is important to work. Maybe not so often people prefer to spend time: just chatting with friends or sitting in a cafe, so it seems to me that Spaniards very often sit in cafes, compared to Russians, where they spend a lot of time - this is a more relaxed life. This is probably the biggest contrast for me. In what language is there the phrase “sweetness to do nothing”? In Italian or French? I don’t remember, but if any of you know what phrase I’m talking about, please write.
That is, the sweetness of doing nothing - it means a carefree feeling of simple relaxation, when you enjoy free time and do not feel remorse. This is what the Russian people need to learn from. I’ve noticed that, for example, when we go to visit my husband’s parents, they always do something, always take care of the garden or do some business, and when I lived in the country all last summer, I often I worked, made content, but I also wanted to just relax - do nothing, and sometimes it turned out that I was… a parasite! Yes, that is, a person who does not like to work, although, damn it, we do not live in order to work. In this regard, it cost me a very dear to say goodbye to this Soviet legacy, which has been dripping into my head since childhood, and, indeed, it was very difficult for me to spend weekends, even Saturday and Sunday, without work, that is, for me since childhood. it was very important to work every day, to work a lot, and it cost me a lot to learn how to relax on weekends and, in general, to learn how to relax.
I cannot say this about myself, but, for example, the generation of my grandmothers - yes, they were constantly working, constantly doing something. I was somehow lucky, probably more. Are your parents younger? Because my parents are 70 years old, so they are already quite… Old school. Exactly! Okay, well, finally, Julia, please tell our listeners, our viewers, what you need to keep in mind when you come to St. Petersburg. Like a tourist? Yes, as a tourist.
Maybe clothes or some rules. I think that we must not forget to take a camera, which I forgot mine this time, and shoot everything on my phone. You will have so many chances to photograph everything. Better to check the weather forecast and stock up on different clothing options for different weather conditions, foresee rain, foresee maybe even heat. Yes, yes, and certainly - comfortable shoes with good soles, because it often rains here, and I had Italian shoes with thin soles - I just ruined them with these roads, with these pebbles, so good shoes so that it doesn’t get wet, if it rains.
One hundred percent, plus the city is huge, and you want to walk, you want to go, maybe even across several bridges, from one station to another, for example, the day before yesterday I walked 26 kilometers in one day - this is what an ordinary tourist can do per day, so comfortable shoes are very important. Well, and also, as we said, do not be afraid to come and buy a SIM card - the Internet, and in general, mobile communications are very inexpensive here, so the first thing to do is buy a SIM card.
You will have good internet, an inexpensive tariff, and you will not need to go into debt, as some people think they will speak on their American or European SIM card. Be prepared to be surprised and inspired, because more, one might say, Europeanized people live in St. Petersburg than in other regions of the country, and you may be surprised by how much people resemble you. Here you will find, I think, if you try to find, you will definitely find new friends.
I think very easy. People are quite open-minded, there is a lot of tourism, yes, it is very easy to make friends with people. Guys, Julia and I also shot a video for her channel, where I talk about life in St. Petersburg. If you are interested, follow the link. Also her Instagram and podcast will be in the description, join her community and see you soon! I hope this is not our last video, we will record more.
19:35 - In Barcelona! Yes, in Barcelona. Thank you, Julia, it was very interesting. Good day, everyone!.