I will tackle possible the most contentious issue first.
Up till now, I have been unable to get in and out of the flat as I pleased due to the fact that she didnt trust me with the alarm (and I didnt want to piss her off cos she's mean). This situation climaxed on monday when I waited for an hour for her to return (until 6), at which point I had phoned more than several times to which there was no reply.
I was subsequently invited to a friends house, where I met her 'parents' Sasha and Marina Petrovna. they found the fact that I was a vegetarian hilarious, and proceeded to ask if I was sure I didnt want some soup (which had a lot of meat in), then boozed me.
At about half 9 it turned out that babsuns was home, so I could go back. I was driven home in Sasha's car. the journey went as follows;
1) walk out to sasha's car, he's walking the dog (hilary)
2) dog runs off, generally dicking about. sasha = angry, ('Sit in the car Tom, SIT IN THE CAR!'). a friend with a moustache approaches, rather worried and talking rapidly down the phone po-russki. he grabs the dog and chucks in the back of the car. then comes in the car and turns on loud dance music for me and asks that I wait 5 minutes while he talks to his mate.
3) loud dance music for 5 minutes.
4) Sasha and friend with moustache get in the car and we start to drive very quickly along the most potholey roads imaginable.
5) Sasha stops, and him and friend get out and go into this abandoned looking warehouse. Sasha comes back to keep watch. all whilst in the pitch black. leather jackets.
6) friend with moustache comes out with package, and then says thank you. walks off into the night with package.
7) Sasha drives me home.
It was slightly ropey, let me tell you.
When I finally got back in, it turned out that Raisa had been ringing petersburg, so she had her different sim in. didnt really seem to care. gave me some cabbage and an ice cream as compensation.
This week I have also managed to see Mamma Mia at the cinema. Dubbed in russian, it was surreal, at best. also highly enjoyable with a premixed gin-and-tonic out of a bottle (petrol).
Also went to a classical concert last night, felt very russian.
Am going to try and make a curry tonight.