Sometimes it’s not the big events that have the most meaning, but the little things. A couple of years ago, Rebecca and I were privileged to spend three days in St. Petersburg, Russia. We saw all kinds of palaces, churches, and museums but my happiest memory involves a porta-potty, and an honest woman.
I believe we were in the Church Over the Spilled Blood,
when typically, I developed a very strong, very urgent need to empty my bladder. There were no facilities in the church so I made my way outside. There on a raised platform were two porta-potties, one on each side of a booth where a woman was collecting a fee to use them. I believe the cost was 5o kopeks, it may have been less, but it wasn’t more. 50 kopeks is about $.02. The smallest coin I had was one Euro, roughly equivalent to one dollar. I handed in the Euro coin and rushed into the porta-potty. Ah, sweet relief.
When I was finished I left and began to walk away. Suddenly everyone was shouting at me. I turned around to discover the woman accepting the money wanted to give me my change.
As I said we saw many things in St. Petersburg. But ultimately it was not the artwork, the gold, the tapestry, but a very human moment that gave me my fondest memory.