Road to Pskov

road

Tatiana’s story:

Having failed to remember any episode when I felt embarrassed or ashamed – I think it’s just in my nature to learn a lesson and happily forget the context – I decided to share a memory that is still vivid as if it happened yesterday.
It was my first holiday after I graduated from university and got a job. We had a house in the country, about 500 km from Saint-Petersburg. The village lay practically on the border between two districts and at that time there was no public transport in easy reach – 8 km in one direction and 11 in the other. One way home runs through Pskov, an old and beautiful city, through which I often went on my way home or in the country, but I had never happened to see it.

our house

our house

Usually, when I got home from the country it was like this: I would go on foot to the nearest bus stop, then travel to a little town where I switch buses to SPb (BTW no tickets in advance). This time I decided to make a stop in Pskov on my way home, stroll around for a couple of hours and then take another bus to Spb. But a thought that it was going to be Sunday when all public transport would be swarmed by people returning to SPb from their weekend had never crossed my mind.
So, I got up at 4 pm, had a light breakfast and after 2-hour walk I took the first bus, at 9 pm I took the next bus and at 1 am I arrived in Pskov at the bus station, excited and looking forward to enjoying the views. But first I was going to buy a ticket for a bus home and only then walk around the city.
3 hours later I was still at the bus station. It dawned on me that I had no chances of getting home in time because there hadn’t been, wasn’t and wouldn’t be any tickets at all. I was tired, hungry and desperate. I had enough time to mull over my naive idea (naïve sounds better than stupid).
I took my backpack and dragged myself to the highway thinking of hitch-hiking . I’d never tried this before and was nervous, worried, unhappy and a bit scared. Fortunately for me there was a little café and, again, fortunately for me it was closed. So when a truck stopped nearby I saw my chance. Two drivers got off , came to the closed café door, realised it wasn’t their lucky day and got back to their car where I met them with a question about their destination. I suppose they took pity on me and agreed to give me a lift. They carried honey from the south to SPb.
From utter despair to hope, the feelings left me absolutely exhausted, not to mention that I hadn’t had a bite from the early morning. After a while the drivers found a quiet place where they organized a modest picnic. I offered what I had with me but I myself was sort of in a trance, I wanted nothing but to get home!!! So one of them brought a bottle – I never asked what it was, poured a little in a cup and said I had to drink it. For some reason I did. And it really helped. I guess it was a home-made, quite strong spirit. I found myself a bit light-headed but alive and very hungry. I wolfed down several sandwiches, drank a cup of tea and came to think that life was good.
After the meal we continued our path. To make things better they put on a cassette with one of my favourite singers of that time, and next several hours we spent singing romances. I got home late at night, absolutely happy!
I kept in touch with the drivers for several years and we often met when they happened to come to Spb. You won’t believe it but I still don’t give up an idea to see Pskov one day.

country life

mushrooms

country life


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