The Oxford Street of St Petersburg was expensive, judging by looking into a MacDonald’s window at the price of coffee (over A$6 – see Big Mac Index). Peter the Great designed the street as the road to Novgorod and Moscow. We found the city disappointing, much like Moscow eight years ago, the people sour, the older people poor, the tramps wretched.
One of the friendliest locals was the owner of a music shop and a composer who sold me a Sofia Gubaidulina CD (Glorious Percussion; In Tempus Praesens), his favourite composer and one I like. We had followed the sound of music off the street into the well of a block of flats. It turned out the music wasn’t from his shop but from the city, piped into the ether.