I’m not sure I have been quite as excited as I was about arriving anywhere as Russia for the first time in 1999. The idea of going behind the old iron curtain to a country that was hard to imagine that much about was more exciting than even Egypt or India for my first big trip.
St Petersburg was my first (of only two) port of calls in Russia in 1999, and today remains one of my favourite cities in the world. So yes, I liked it. What was my first taste like?
Well, I got off at the airport and tried to find a money changer. I found one, and as I approached it I had a man come up to me and offer to change my money for me. I said I would stick with the exchange booth. The man announced to half the airport that I was…
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