Welcome to Russia

Despite our anxiety about what kind of people we'd encounter in Russia, Julia and I made our debut at St. Petersburg's Bristol Pub to catch the match for 3rd place in World Cup.

Our bartender appeared from central casting for a Dostoevsky novel, broad and heavily bearded, laughing as he gave us free olives and a couple of I requested whiskeys to go along with our beers.

Somehow, through the magic of what of the Japanese call “bar social merry-make,” we made friends with some kids who were pretty intent on celebrating a birthday.