Stella was in the berth above mine. Having four in a cabin was a first for us in our three weeks of trains from Shanghai to St Petersburg as we’d paid extra to usually have a cabin to ourselves.
Two young women settled their bags in with us just before our 11.30pm journey from Moscow to St Petersburg started. One of them, Stella, then helped us order pancakes for breakfast. I decided things were all right in my world after all, pulled the fairly luxurious white duvet over my head and went to sleep.
Eight hours later as we were nearing St Petersburg we struck up a conversation with Stella. She runs raves with some friends in Moscow and St Petersburg. Their last one featuring Russian pop had a crowd of 2,800.
“Russian Pop is fantastic. It gets into your soul.”
The gig in St Petersburg this weekend would be outdoors and during the day. Buried in her suitcase she had an official PussyRiot balaclava made by a friend to wear while making her first foray into DJ-ing.
“I still have to cut the eyes and mouth out.”
She wasn’t worried about not having DJ-ed before. “It’s about a feeling in you not just technology.” She had plans to bring a new sound to Russia from the music taxi drivers in Zambia use to attract fares from nightclubbers.
Stella’s social media cover photo shows her at the same recent protest about internet restrictions that one of the PussyRiot group was arrested at it.
She’s a fan of the group but peeved they’re currently in the USA performing. “Why go there? No one is going to worry them in the USA.”
Stella was fine with me trying on the balaclava. She pulled out a black vinyl jacket she planned to wear with it.
“Ooh, you’ll be hot in all that,” Jen said with a little concern.
“Yes, I’ll be hot. I’ll be a hot DJ.”
Stella invited us to the dance party aimed at 18 to 25 year olds.
Maybe after our visit to the Winter Palace. We’ll play it by ear.