Oh, sweet weekend. How I craved you.
I want to apologize beforehand if this entry is jumbled and poorly-written. I'm quite exhausted from my night out and am just trying to get some thoughts and pictures down before I forget.
Ben and I met our friends for drinks last night at a little hipster bar called "Milk" across the street from the Red Square. It was a gorgeous venue adorned with thick chandeliers and skinny Russian girls smoking thin cigarettes and drinking tiny vodka drinks. Ben and I had just gotten our first paycheck the day before (nothing special--it was for only three days of work, but it still felt good) so we ordered a few more drinks than we probably should have (our bill was obscene), but it was such an awesome time.
Ben's friend Sergei, whom he met in Japan and then spent a lot of time with when he was in Moscow studying abroad, brought along his girlfriend who is a classical piano player and a lovely person. I had such a nice time talking with her and when her two girlfriends joined us around midnight (I told you Russians go out very late), it was even better. I had been really missing hanging out with girls and it was helpful to hear their Russian, as Russian women's accents are much different than their male counterparts. They taught me a few words and gave me some general advice about living in Russia and dealing with Russians.
I felt so happy and so comfortable. Before Ben and I came to Russia, he told me that the main thing he learned from his travels was that everyone, everywhere is going through the same stuff. When I asked him what he meant, he said that any problem I could imagine, any concern, any dream, people around the world were feeling the same things. And it's true. No matter where you grew up or what you wear or how you act, people really aren't all that different. I'm glad the more I get settled into this country, the more I can see that first hand.
I do wish I could have taken more pictures of this amazing bar, but like always, some Russian woman came and yelled at me to put my camera away. I don't know what it is about Russia, but you can't photograph anything. Sometimes they let you, but you have to pay first. It's incredibly frustrating, and I probably wouldn't listen, but Russians can be quite intimidating. So sneaky iPhone pictures will have to do.
|Sergei and his girlfriend, Masha|
After we left Moloko (which was a milk shop during the Soviet Union), we went to Sergei's favorite bar (it's kind of punky-hipster, divish) and had some cheap beers and garlic bread dipped in bleu cheese. At the second bar, which I had been to before, they played an interesting variety of music (AC/DC, Jon Bon Jovi, The Meat Puppets, Michael Jackson...) everyone sits at tables very close to one another and smokes lots and lots of cigarettes. They have only one TV-a large projector in the back of the room- that constantly plays a television channel featuring the most bizarre Japanesse game shows. Have you ever seen any? They're so bizarre.
Anyway, the night was wrapped up with good conversations and good beer. And a gypsy cab for 300 rubles that made me feel very sick to my stomach. But otherwise, I felt very thankful for another chance to explore Moscow and make it feel even more like a home.