Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Rock on, Russia!

Saturday we went to a rock concert. An interesting marketing ploy by the Stary Melnik beer company – admission was 3 bottle caps from bottles of Stary Melnik beer. (Though when we got there they were being careless, to say the least, about whether people actually had the three bottle caps when they went in – they were more concerned with whether people were trying to sneak in any vodka or beer from other companies.)

English Teacher M and I went – and taking dates, of course, this meant we had to drink twelve beers before we could go in. This left us a bit bloated, but feeling pretty cheerful.

I went there ready to rock – I was wearing a black jacket, a black t-shirt, and black leather gloves with the fingers cut off, that African Student S uses for bike riding and which he left here one time. I was going to wear cargo pants until English Teacher M reminded me that jeans would be more suitable. I didn’t have any clean jeans, but of course, man, rock ain’t about clean jeans!

A bunch of local groups were playing, with the headline acts Korney, Zemfira, and Bi-2. Korney and Zemfira are a bit on the noodly dreamy alternativey side to be really rockin’, but Bi-2 are pretty rockin’, if a bit ponderous and Pearl Jam-like.

I’d been joking all day about flashing the symbol of the horned hand to show how much I was rocking – but damned if, when we got there, everybody wasn’t really flashing the symbol of the horned hand at the stage to show how much they were rocking.

I thought people stopped doing that back in 1986.

It was cool, though, man. We rocked.

Sunday a student of mine took a bunch of us out to her dacha in the country, where we barbecued chicken. A fabulous day – Russian girls running around in bikinis, swimming in a spring fed lake, playing volleyball, eating fresh berries and grilled chicken and vegetables from their garden. The girls were a rather tame crew, by our standards – noneof them drink – but they’re a reasonably fun bunch, they like to dance and such. They certainly didn’t mind that WE put away loads of beer.

One of those days that makes me glad I didn't become an anaesthesiologist.

After we left there at about ten pm, we went back to Vodkaberg and tried to get to a party they were having in one of the squares – supposedly the largest dance party in Russia. When we got there, however, we discovered that they were not allowing people to take alcohol of any sort into the square, not even in plastic bottles. What insane bullshit is this, cried I. Naturally this had not stopped people from getting drunk – the area on the perimeter of the square was completely COVERED with empty beer and vodka bottles, and most of the people in the square (mainly teenagers) were clearly shitfaced.

No alcohol? What the hell is happening to this city. The law about no beer drinking on the streets proves to be largely unenforced, but there’s plenty of creeping alcohol fascism – some of the cafes won’t serve people under 21 now, for example. What will this city be without drunk teenagers?

1 comment:

Jesse said...

Good luck in this new place, X. I'm a recent visitor to your blog who read it all in one go. Heady stuff. I used to sling English as well in Eastern Europe, but for only a few years.