24.7.15

St. Petersburg 10/7 - 21/7 2015

This trip to St. Peterburgs was like a dream. I met Sheildlina, or Lena as i like to call her, another famous instagramer in Thailand, for exactly 6 hours, and then i decided to fly to Russia to see her. When i told my friends about this, they all thought I was crazy. I was going to live with her, when I don't really even know who she is.

I tell them, it is almost love at first sight.

I was in Thailand for a "business" trip as usual, doing photography, advertising and stuff for brands. She was in Thailand for holiday with her boyfriend, and she arrived the day which i was going to fly back to Hanoi, so we had only a short while to be with each other. The online world is funny, you always kinda know someone from the inside out, but you kinda not at the same time, and that was exactly how it is. The moment we met, it's like we have known each other since forever, hugging and loving but I don't even know her last name.

And then I fly for almost 18 hours to be with her in Russia, 2 months later.

The entire trip was so fast and dreamy i barely remember the details. All i know was, by the second night I slept in her room, it felt like I have been there my whole life. You know the feeling when you just met someone and the only thing in your mind was "where was this person my entire life"? May be you don't, I didn't either, until 10 days ago.

Lena and me, we most definitely were identical twins in our past life. It was so strange, everything we are and we have, was the exactly the yin yang half of each other. Me Vietnamese, She Russian, I speak Vietnamese and English, she speaks German and Russian. Yet, we are the same height, same size, even our hair are the same length. Same jobs, same dreams, same likes and dislikes yet so different in our attitudes with everything.

The same thing I frown, she cries. The same thing I feel fine, she love. It was strange, I think I would be her if I was born in a different place, in a different family, and without the sadness that was always holding me.

She always hold my hand, hug me and put her head on my shoulder when we took long rides. We met so many fans around, and me being awkward, standing at the corner and trying not to freak, she shakes hand with people and offer them autograph, selfies. I can see the way people look at her and look at me, and I just know that if we were yin and yang, she would always be the better half.

About the trip, i think i could compare it to a ride of peaceful roller coaster. Russia is weird and weirdly wonderful. We took photos all day long, went to the second hand market, sight seeing at museums and rivers, went to Vk's festival (aka russia's facebook), and I did the most outrageous thing: give a presentation on how to be a blogger.

Despite the fact we might as well be the same person, me and Lena does not speak the same language, and I mean at all. We talk to each other using google translate's robotic voice, and body language. When Lena tried to explain the word "cemetery" with me, she make a move like being stabbed in the chest, play dead, and then sing the song they usually play when someone is being putted in the ground. That's what made my presentation happen: I supposedly agreed to do a 20 mins presentation WITH powerpoint because she sent me a poster with my picture on it and russian words, and i told her "nice", because the picture was nice, but she took it that i am fine with talking in front of hundreds of people in a festival, and i almost had a heart attack when i found out what exactly did i sign up for.

I made it out alive though.

Beside that, this trip was holiday in its perfect sense. We woke up past lunch time everyday, had cake for breakfast, walk around and take selfies. It has everything from staying up till 6am to watch a bridge open ( apparently that's what tourist does in Russia and it was lame ), and staying up until 6am to watch movie series ( which we discover Mr.Robot - my new obsession ). That is ofcourse, if holiday includes having shoots with professional photographer, surrounded by fans, and being the V.I.P guest as one of the biggest event of the year in Russia.

That speech though, it was definitely a wake up call for me about my issue with talking to people. Lena and me basically presented about the same thing, like what is it really like to be a blogger, there are more to it than what you see, and about doing blogging as a job. Lena's was fun, energetic, everyone was so excited and asking questions because she makes it sound like an adventure. Mine, I talk about how I am here in Russia but i earn nothing and blogging is really difficult and shits, ended up every one just give me the "poor thing" stares by the end. I hate it. I feel like after my presentation, instead of inspiring people, i made them no longer want to be a blogger...

Also, this is about me, but let's not kid anyone around here ofcourse it's about me it's my website!! This whole trip was also my attempt to get my social anxiety in control, and i don't think it worked. Don't get me wrong, I love love love love Lena and Russia and this 10 days trip, but a little voice inside my head keep screaming at me after a week mark, saying things like "get out of there before they figured out that you are full of shits and left you". I literally can feel the concerns my Russian friends gave me in the air, and it made me even harder to breath. Spending every moment of everyday with someone for 10 days and continuously meeting new people was not easy for me, I really had to try. It was so obvious, my friend was saying things like "those first few days i thought you were really crazy but now you just seems to be so quiet, what happened?". Ugh. Damn you disorders and anxiety, why can't you just take a break when i am on holiday too?

As soon as I got back to Vietnam, which is now, I am in my room again, not moving, not leaving the house for the next 5 days. After that, I am going to Singapore again, with meeting people and going out and do what 20s something people do again. I despite the fact that I need times to "recharge" before I meet someone, and then still feel like shit afterward because I always act awkward. Might as well call those "recharge" days "self evaluation day when i try really hard not to punch myself in the face because i recall and relive every moment of me being strange around people and think about what I should have said instead".

Enough ranting, who really "read" my blog anyway? lol. Here's the photo!