Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon/evening with Miss Polly. We started the day off by making some seriously convincing and delicious bread sticks (which I later tried to explain to my Irish roommate, who didn't understand how they are any different from baguettes or garlic bread. Sigh. Just one of the many trials of living with someone who did not grow up in the States.) and drinking mimosas with champagne gifted to her by students.
Then we watched a seriously depressing but awesome documentary about Russian prison tattoos, which gave wonderful descriptions of the complex system and meaning behind prison tattoos and also an inside look to Russian prisons. It was interesting to hear inmates (some of whom were in for things like "traffic violations" and "malicious hooliganism") almost unanimously say that prisons were better under the Soviet Union, and also how prison tattoos/tattooing has become much more frivolous under the Russian Federation. It's called The Mark of Cain, it came out in 2001, is directed by Alix Lambert, and the trailer can be watched here.
After drinking some coffee (something I am now swearing off past 3 pm) and discussing what to do next (it was only 6:30 and still light out, and we felt as though we should take advantage of the fact that she had taken the day off work), we decided to head to a nearby children's store (Детский Мир) and see if we couldn't find a Russian version of Scrabble. Even better than simply Scrabble-but-in-Russian, we found a сделано в России вариант (made in Russia version)!!! And at only 405 rubles ($13), it was a steal (or at least well worth the value). When we arrived back at her apartment, we
excitedly opened the box and laid out the board and pieces. It was a seriously comical sight, as the board is at least twice as big as a normal Scrabble board (with the pieces equally scaled up in size) with no trays to lay out your pieces in, and there is a mysterious die included in the box. Polly promised to read the instructions so we can know how to play for real in the future. Also, there appeared to be far too many blanks.
Nevertheless, we felt quite accomplished as we used nearly all of the pieces and expanded our Russian vocabulary (arguably). The game occupied us for the rest of the evening and I went home around 10:30 pm and proceeded to not sleep thanks to the coffee.
Oh, and while we were out, I managed to purchase coconut milk. Great success all around this Friday!
(Photo notes: taken by Polly, as per usual; please ignore the off-color vocabulary in our game!)