Saturday, August 28, 2010

Good weekend, bad weekend.

Just a few days ago I was reminiscing about how wonderful last weekend was. Well, today is only Saturday, and I already want to forget about this one.

The story goes like this: My friend from last weekend (we'll call her P), another guy from the training (let's call him T) and I decided to go out into the city, have a beer, wait for some others to finish their teaching later on in the evening, and so on. The evening actually started nicely, with a little walk through китай город. Now, some might translate this as Chinatown, as китай (kitay) is the Russian word for China, but they would be wrong, as we quickly found out. There were no dragons. Very disappointing. Anyway, it turns out that it's right next to Red Square, so we admired St. Basil's a little, then made our way to the row of souvenir booths, then eventually back to the neighborhood the school is in, where we ended up in an underground bar/lounge/restaurant for a few hours. The buy-one-get-one-free beer deal was too good to pass up, there was a sushi menu with some pretty good sushi (it's very popular in Moscow), and somehow we even got a free hookah landed at our table.

Finally the other interns were done with their teaching and we met up with them at the restaurant next to the school. Our group had grown to about 10 people and, amoeba that we were, eventually to 13. After a couple of hours the bar was about to close, and it was decision time for P and me: did we want to end the night early to ensure we would make it home, or should we stay out until the metro re-opens at 5:30am? Because we are obviously idiots (and have done very little outside of the training program), we opted for the latter.

First there was walking. For miles and miles. Somehow I ended up with a bottle of juice and some oranges for the walk. I suppose I can thank the FUCKING CRAZY Russian guy the others had picked up for that. It's hard to explain in words what it was about this individual that made him seem out of his mind, but we all agreed that he was totally insane. After a few stops along the long journey, we made it to one bar/club. Of course, having not dressed for going out and with a group of five guys and two girls (I have absolutely no idea what happened to our group from earlier, which had a much more balanced gender make-up), we were rejected. How sad. Around the corner we found a dark little lounge with some loud-ass dance/electronic music, and only about 20 people populating the place. P and I were the only people dancing for most of the time we were there (I think one or two other girls came out for awhile, and there were some guys on the sidelines doing their own thing. I actually really appreciate the ability to dance without anyone being all up in my business)... and we must have danced for hours, desperately trying to pass the time until the metro opened and we could get the fuck out of there. Several members of our group had fallen asleep on the couches, and at 5:15 P and I took the opportunity to leave our strange new friends behind and find the metro. The last hour or two at the bar and the trip home were some of the worst, most uncomfortable hours in recent memory. The exhaustion coupled with having spoken more Russian in those few hours than in months and months really did me in.

Of course, while the doors to the metro might officially open at 5:30, the first train going in our direction didn't come until 6. I arrived in Medvyedkovo (where I switch a bus for the final leg of the journey) at 6:45 and, as I had expected, the buses would not be running for another 15 minutes. A man standing by a car where the bus usually is asked me if I needed to go to Mytishchi. I contemplated this for a moment, asked how much it would cost (50 roubles! Same as the bus!), and jumped into the mystery car with two others going the same direction. I had a moment of concern when the guy asked where I needed to go, and I could produce little more than the name of the street. I told him I had forgotten, and would think about it. Thank god one of the other people in the car was going exactly where I needed to be let out.

So by 7:15 I was crawling into bed, cursing myself for decision I'd made, and vowing never to do it again. I slept for four or five hours, and spent the day in a depressed and depleted state, feeling lonely and missing Kyle immensely and dreading the work I have to do on Sunday for an assignment that I naturally put off until the last minute.

The end.

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