Sunday, June 20, 2010
Алые Паруса, an Excerise in the Ridiculous
Hi all. This weekend was rather crazy so I'm just getting the opportunity to post now. Friday was a good day, I went to Буквоед, which could best be described as a borders, staples, all rolled together with music, a cafe, and Russian souveniers, in order to look for a new notebook to write down vocab in. I am happy to report that I found the rest of the "Glamour Girl" military girl notebook line. I'm really quite confused as to who (beyond me) would want to buy these. Seems to be, a girl with an AK-47 slung over her shoulder is not going to appeal to young girls. And no self-respecting, mullet toting young Russian man is going to want a notebook that tells him he is a "glamour girl". Who knows...
The of Friday was fun, some friends from the group spent a rather fun evening at a bar in town called "dacha". It was a great place to sit, have a couple of beers, chat with Russians and dance. Evening turned into all night for some of this though, as I agreed to help a friend get away from her rather clingy ex-boyfriend. Needless to say I missed the midnight closing of the metro. In the end however I'm glad I did. I got to make some new Russian friends, and I got free beer out of it. Sleep was a casualty however, as we were out well into the morning, and I didn't get home until 10 AM the next day.
Saturday, after a day of napping and homework our group went into the center for a concert on Palace Square for the holiday Алые Паруса. While I think there Алые Паруса is based on some old story (something involving a ship with red sails), the holiday now celebrates those students who are finishing their final year of school. It was really quite wild. Nevsky prospekt was shut down to traffic and the streets were full of drunken 16 and 17 year old Russians. Everyone was drinking, and by evenings end, we were literally walking about ankle deep in broken glass and discarded cans in many places. Needless to say even getting to the concert was an adventure. As is typical in Russia, their was a heavy police presence. In addition to the normal militia however I had the joy of encountering the ОМОН, or Russian riot police. Real giants of men in black berets and blue Russian combat camo carrying rather nasty looking clubs and in some cases, assault rifles. The ОМОН seemed to enjoy menacing everyone from their rather large prison trucks, barking orders as to where people could and could not go.
The concert is self was rather odd as well. Mullet sporting Russian male pop stars, and rather scantily clad female stars covering American music from the 1980's, in addition to their own material. At one point, Cirque de Soleil came out and put on 20 minute long performance.
Once again however, we missed the closing of the metros. Our RD had told us the metro would close at 3 AM, instead of midnight. With that in mind, we all rather happily stayed out until 2. Much to our chagrin (and in particular mine), the metros had in fact closed at midnight, and would not open to four. I'm sure you all can guess the rest of the story. In rare belligerent/grumpy form, I wait until four, battle my way to an open metro station (in typical Russian style, some metro stations remained inexplicably closed even when they were supposed to be open), and squeeze my way on to the first train home.
But my story doesn't end there. Upon arriving home at 5:30 AM, I found my host sister and friends celebrating their graduation with Champagne. I was obliged to join them for a few glasses, which was good. I got to make new friends and use the Russian that had fallen by the wayside in the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately, sleep was even more delayed. In the end, I got to sleep around 8. Hopefully next weekend will be a bit quieter!