Hi Vladimir,

This story is, of course, meant to be playful over-exaggeration. I will say that it wasn’t just visitors I saw, nor was it me who mentioned the drinking, but Russians I interviewed. I lived in Saint Petersburg for three years both in the center and on the outskirts as well.

It may be that the younger generation has different views or experiences in the city. This article was originally published to a Russian audience, in a Russian publication, and was reviewed by Russian editors. My articles are based on interviews with Russians and personal experience and not on conjecture. I do, of course, add my own commentary often exaggerated for humorous effect.

I sincerely hope that people wouldn’t read this and think that it is a doom and gloom city full of drunks. If they do then they gravely misinterpreted the tone. I certainly wouldn’t have stayed through three winters, with plans on going back to live there permanently someday, if that were the case.

Also I am not sure if you were in the city for last winter but the streets did become ice skating rinks. So much so that there were teams of Peterburgers all over smashing it because no one could get anywhere and the Government wouldn’t solve the problem. The Neva froze so thick all three years that people were strolling across no problem. That is pretty dang cold. Though, I do hear that this winter was much more of this mild mockery you’ve mentioned. And as to the darkness, sure, if you have lived beyond the arctic circle it wouldn’t seem so bad, but plenty of people who’d be visiting, or reading this have not. And I had not. So, coming from the perspective of someone who lived without that schedule, it feels very dark. So, I am not sure what part of this article that was my words would be a stereotype or false, and not simply a different perspective.

Point being, with all of this, Onepin isn’t meant to straight forward, monotone, “How to pack for x vacation,” — if that is all we wanted, we’d have nothing different than a million other play-it-safe magazines. We want to have playful tones, other perspectives, and honest commentary from people living in different countries. With traveling, no one has the same experience in a country and people will always feel extra defensive about places they live. And we welcome comments from people who feel differently. I wanted to start this because I was tired of every single travel article being a watered down advertisement for whatever place they’re writing about.

I hope this clarifies and concerns you had.

Columnist and author. My writing is like a bunch of people at a party trying to tell different jokes at the same time. benjamindavis.substack.com

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