Take this sushi restaurant две палочки (dve palochki) as an example. A shining example of a good sushi restaurant for a start, although it also serves a wide variety of Japanese, Italian and American food.
Incidentally, dve (properly pronounced dvye, but latin spellings are not an exact science over here) is the feminine form of the number two, so knowing the logo I assumed that palochki translated as some kind of birds… but actually I found out that palochki are chopsticks, so I’m guessing the ones in the logo must be broken?
Anyway there are three on Nevsky (told you latinisation wasn’t an exact science), and another three within a few minutes walk… Now I will grant you it’s a long street, and there are plenty of shops with more than one branch along Oxford Street in London, but it did particularly stand out when I came here.
Maybe I am so familiar with Oxford Street that I don’t even notice exactly the same phenomena over in the UK, but it did make me wonder whether Russian People are somewhat reticent to walk very far?
Certainly those who can afford cars will tend to drive pretty much everywhere (or get taxis if drinking… the well behaved ones at least), but as a great believer in walking a city in order to get to really know it I find this a real shame. The first two times I came to visit Saint Pete I was driven around a lot, so it is only now that I am starting to fill in the gaps in my knowledge map and realise exactly how my pockets of familiarity link up.
The sushi place isn’t even the biggest offender as there are certain shops which you literally do see every hundred yards or so, but the biggest surprise to me and the most questionable in it’s necessity was this…
There are at least two of the same brand (I’m not exactly sure if brand is the right word for what I’m about to say, but they are clearly run by the same company. Chain perhaps is better?) of Chocolate… not shops but Museums(?!?) along the main street.
I can’t imagine a situation where anyone decides to visit a chocolate museum but feels that they can’t be bothered to walk a bit further down the street for it… Or better still, get off the Metro at the stop closest to it.
Maybe the Russians are a very spontaneous people and it’s a passing trade thing? I’ll keep an eye on the situation and if I find out anything more concrete you can be sure I’ll report back.
In the meantime I’ll be choosing which of the two Chocolate Museums (and they’re dedicated to chocolate, not made of it) I should visit.
With such a tricky decision I’ll probably end up seeing neither. So whatever the thinking behind it, they’ve probably scored a fail with me.