Today my Russian visa expires. What felt like an eternity a month ago, is over.
Looking back to all the experiences I’ve had I feel confirmed in my belief that there are more good people on earth than bad people.
But do we give them the chance often enough to show us what angels they are?
Yesterday was again such a day. For days I struggled to find a place where I could change the oil of the KLR and clean the oil filter. They don’t have garages like we know it in South Africa.
I started riding in pouring rain. On the outskirts of St. Petersburg I found a filling station and bought the oil that I needed. I walked around the building. There was no workshop, only a car wash.
While standing at my bike a lady with the most beautiful eyes stopped to fill up her car. She walked past me, stopped, looked at me and asked “From which country are you?”
I was surprised to hear someone speaking English and used the chance to ask if she knew where I could change the oil of the KLR.
She smiled and said in a soft voice “Follow me.”
She and her friends were going somewhere but first she took me to a workshop where she organized within seconds someone who would do that. Again I didn’t even have time to take out my tools.
The name of the angel was Marina. She would never read this but I bless her for her kindness to stop and speak to me, and to delay their plans by first taking me to a workshop.
On the day of the funeral of Dick’s son I went to a small church and sat there, listening to the beautiful male voices singing. As I walked back onto the street a young couple crossed my way and we started speaking. They were Russians who spoke an excellent English. Her friend said he would take a photograph of the lady and me. She jokingly took out her make-up and made as if she was going to put some make-up on me. A small joke that helped so much lifting the mood of the moment. Thank you to those two angels!
I stopped in the rain yesterday to clean my visor. A man came to me, introduced him as a biker as well and took a photograph, which he emailed me this morning. To that he wrote:
If you will need any help in Russia, call on my mobile +7 *** ***any time! I drive on R1200GS ADV.
Good look with your trip!
And these are the memories I am going to take with me. Russia and the Russians were good to me, starting with the Russian lady at customs that sent me with a smile and good wishes on my way, Victoria and her parents in Luga, Marina and Elena in Ekat, Yulia in Tyumen and Larisa and Sasha in Novosibirsk. There were so many others whom I haven’t mentioned, people that came to the KLR at filling stations with dreams in their eyes and hearts. Those are the Russians that made Russia the country it is.
And now I am going to pack the KLR for the last ride in Russia to the Finnish border.