Badass Map Reader

Dateline: St. Petersburg, Day 4 – A.S.Popov Central Museum of Communications and McDonald’s

St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
13 June 2009

I had two goals for today: visit the communications museum and get out of Russia alive.

After packing up my stuff, I made my way, again, to the communications museum. It was right were it should have been, and this time it was open.

The exhibits were very modern and well done, a stark contrast to the exhibits in the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography museum.

The museum covered various forms of communication from the post office through radio communcations to cellular and satellite. Although I was mostly interested in the latter, my favorite part was the working telephone switch board, including a pulse-dial and DTMF interchange. There was also a working manual switchboard, but being unable to read Russian, I wasn’t able to figure out what steps I needed to take to make it work.

24.0 mm || 1/60 || f/3.8 || ISO800 || NIKON D70

18.0 mm || 1/50 || f/3.5 || ISO800 || NIKON D70

18.0 mm || 1/50 || f/3.5 || ISO800 || NIKON D70

18.0 mm || 1/40 || f/3.5 || ISO400 || NIKON D70

18.0 mm || 1/500 || f/5.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70

I headed back to the hostel and made sure I had everything packed before I went out for one lase bite to eat. I wanted to get some Russian cuisine, however I ended settling for McDonald’s again1. I’m going to blame my McDonalds fixation on two things. First, I was really tired. Of navigating the Russian culture and just in general. I didn’t really want to put the effort in to attempting to communicate my needs/desires in a foreign language. Second, Russians, especially teens, are absolutely enamored with McDonald’s. You always have to wait in line. In any event, ordering in Russian is easy: биг мак2, кока-кола3, and Fries. I’m actually not sure what the Russian word for fries is, but they get the idea usually. Add in the appropriate hand gestures to indicate size and you got yourself a meal.

18.0 mm || 1/1250 || f/5.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70

Afterward, I headed for the bus station. Finding the station went without a hitch, solidifying my place as “Badass Map Reader”4.

18.0 mm || 1/80 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
St. Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Federal City, Russia

18.0 mm || 1/80 || f/3.5 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
St. Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Federal City, Russia

18.0 mm || 1/40 || f/3.5 || ISO1000 || NIKON D70
St. Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Federal City, Russia

I placed my backpack underneath and climbed on board with my day back, hoping that I would get some sleep this time.

18.0 mm || 1/30 || f/3.5 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
St. Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Federal City, Russia

  1. Yes, again. I swear this only the second time I had McD’s this trip. 

  2. Which is literally pronounced: Big Mac 

  3. Again: Coca-Cola 

  4. seriously though, I’m amazing when it comes to reading maps in foreign places