But as you can see in this video, there really wasn’t any “fraternizing.” It was all so strange, and wonderful, and strange, and somehow quite perfect, so all I could do was gawk and shoot a few photos and videos just to prove that it all happened.
What can you really say about all of this? I mean, it’s crazy just how quickly this seemed so normal. We were only in St. Petersburg for 4 days, yet the chrome Bugatti Veyrons, and helicopters landing all the time, and Ferraris, and gilded palaces, and crazy hydrofoils going 50 knots up the Neva River past little groups of kids sailing Optis, and kooky Russian vacationers riding jet skis all over the place, and the ultra-loud music coming from the many weird outdoor clubs near the marina, and the sun that never really went down, became “normal” all too quickly.
Okay, enough musing. Here’s some more Russian bikini models and weird Russian/Japanese “street racer” cars. The guy who was “in charge” was all excited about this car for some reason. But the curve of the Russian bikini model’s back was what caught my attention. But apparently didn’t do much for the shirtless guys. Maybe it was all too “normal” for them too.
Notice the heels? We had to draw the line at letting them wear the heels on the boat, but they were totally appropriate for requisite, bikini-butt-up-against-the-car-door-with-your-back-arched shots. These three ladies were totally game and were pretty friendly in an international outreach kinda way.
They even posed—one bikini-clad Russian model on each arm with Rainer, the sweet and bookish engineer from Switzerland who was a member of the ARC Baltic crew on the boat next to ours. And the guy who was “in charge” even motioned for me to come over and get in on the bikini-clad-Russian-model-on-each-arm-action with a greasy and somewhat evil smile. But…I didn’t. Something about his evil smile just didn’t seem right.
And anyway, the girls on the wall were nothing like the “prima ballerina” that seemed to drop out of the sky, have her photo taken, and then disappear back into some black SUV parked up on the wall. She was just that. The “prima ballerina.” A cut above who would never condescend to have her photo taken with nerdy and sweet Reinhardt from Switzerland.
For me this could be the quintessential Russian photo. Decaying concrete. Over-the-top “conspicuous consumption.” The reverence of the appearance of beauty. Taken at the edge of a cliff, over a poisoned sea that smells like diesel fuel.
Or maybe this one is.
The girl in the striped suit wanted me to take this photo with her friend. She even had me take some with her phone. The hair. The stilettos. And the outfits all tell a story. But like my friend on the bus, the faces really kinda express what I felt when I was there. Especially the girl in the dark shirt. She’s old enough to have stuff to be sad about, while the girl in the stripes probably (I hope not, but probably) has some sadness coming her way.
This panorama really shows it all. You see the girls and the car on the wall to the left, and there’s that wonderful X-412 with the blue sun awning on the right. Just another, run-of-the-mill photo shoot of Russian bikini models wearing 4-inch heels on a Soviet-era breakwater at the mouth of the Neva River. Yep, just another “normal” day in a Russian marina.