Looking back, one of my favorite experiences so far here in Saint Petersburg was being stuck in an elevator. I decided to rent an apartment here instead of staying at the dorms, and I’ve appreciated myself more than I can express for making that decision. I love the independence of living alone in a city as wonderful as Petersburg. One of the many reasons I appreciate having an apartment here is that I have been able to host several верчеринки, small get-togethers, at my apartment. This has allowed me to really get to know other students here. After one of these nights, I was walking my guests out and we took the elevator down. My apartment is on the 18th floor, so stairs are not really an option. The elevator is made for 2-3 people, max, and we fit 5 of us in it. We got down to the second floor when the elevator stopped between the first and second floors. We could open the door a little bit, but not enough to get out. It was sometime between 1 and 2 am, so there was no one in the lobby of my apartment complex. I ended up having to call the Russian equivalent of 911 and the fire department came and got us out of the elevator. The 5 of us were crammed in there for about 45 minutes. We really got to know each other and have had similar gatherings several times since then.