St Petersburg is, to a large extent, a twenty-four hour city. Bars, clubs, florist’s shops, shawarma kiosks, bookstores, tire assemblies, pretty much anything can operate around the clock, and often does. Obviously, supermarkets follow suit. There are massive 24-hour hypermalls in the outer districts, there are more modest ones in the inner city, almost corner-shops.
Since I don’t live in the city centre, it only really makes sense for me to buy stuff that my neighbourhood is insufficiently supplied with. Land, which has over the years branched out into a chain of gastronomic supermarkets, helps me stock up on Velle fermented oat breakfast, Reissumies rye bread, Yarmarka groats or Gronard coffee marzipans. It actually has a pretty extensive stock, some of which is a little overpriced, but like at all supermarkets there are sometimes discounts.
A couple of things before checking it out. Firstly, you cannot buy alcoholic beverages in St Petersburg shops between 22:00 and 11:00 (legally, that is). Secondly, some of the entrances do not operate late at night – so approach from the direction of per. Shcherbakov (lane) if you’ve midnight munchies. Thirdly, the cafe in the supermarket has its own cash register, so you’re to pay for your coffee there and not when leaving. Fourthly (is that even a word?), using Land’s self-service cash registers requires some intellect – I always feel like a cave-dweller there. Not only there, and it may be because Land is in a basement, but you probably know what I mean.