Snow in Moscow

April 25, 2010

Зравствуй Друзья (Hello Friends)

I can’t believe that it’s already Sunday and another week and weekend have passed here in Moscow. I’m swamped with homework and papers and tests that I should have been working on all weekend, so to take my mind off of all that for just a little bit longer, I thought I’d give you an update on things here in Moscow.

Friday night was the fist of what I’m guessing will be plenty more nights at a German beer hall on the north side of town called Вокзалъ (Train Station). Trevor, Adam, Steve and myself all headed up to Вокзалъ and more or less killed the night there drinking liters of their house brew.

I slept pretty late on Saturday, and spent most of the day doing homework and hanging out at home until I had to head to the far north side of Moscow for the Локомотив (Locomotive) vs. Томь (Toem) football game. By football I mean football by the rest of the world’s standards. My host brother Саша (Sasha) set us up with the tickets, and we were right at the top of the Локомотив fan’s section. We rooted for the home team, Locomotive, and we were all quite pleased that they won.

There are some differences between American sporting events and Russian sporting events that are immediately clear.

  1. Games are dry. You can only buy beer between halves of the game, and you have to drink it at the place you buy it. Even the kiosks around the stadium that normally sell beer don’t sell it on game day.
  2. No one wears jerseys. Nearly everyone had a Локомотив green and red scarf.
  3. There is an overwhelming military and police presence. Football fans can, and often do, get completely out of hand, especially if Локомотив might have lost.
  4. The games are cheap. I’m not talking cheap like $20, our tickets were 150R. That’s $5. When was the last time you made it to a Browns or Cavs game for $5?

After the game a couple of us headed out to the bar once again for more liters of beer. We also decided to have a shot of Absinthe, which is cheaper than Malibu Rum at this particular bar. Despite the Absinthe shots and soccer hooliganing, it was a pretty calm night.

That’s pretty much it for the weekend, I didn’t take very many pictures unfortunately. I did get a picture of this pretty intense anti-smoking ad that I’ve been seeing around town, though. Russia is still very much a smoker’s country, and the most expensive cigarettes I have seen (Parliaments) top out at around $2.

Всё равно means literally "all equal," and is most often used to mean I don't care, as in "It's all the same to me." In this context, however, I think they're going for "Isn't smoking just the same as slitting your wrists?"

I really need to get on this homework at this point, but I hope to have a few updates this week. Wish me luck, this will probably be my busiest week so far.

Ваш,

Кевин

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