I'm itemising this post as a) I feel guilty for not updating for a while b) its quicker and I;m pressed for time.
1) I have started playing Russian Billiards as part of my weekly activities. It is amazing. It is solid. I'm probably the worst player in the hall but I dont care because I can't get enough of it.
2) In fact, we were supposed to go ice-fishing yesterday (alot more boring than it sounds, depends on the amount of vodka you drink) but the weather was too bad so we went to Billiards instead. and then ice cream at my mates house.
3) On Friday night I went to the sauna with a load of Finns. It was good. I mean, I drank too much, ate lots of salty snacks and then dehydrated myself and then went swimming so its all good. I can safely say that if you ever think you want to try getting more drunk that seems feasibly possible, this is definitely the method. The sauna had both kareoke and a 'relaxation room' (SEX ROOM). It was also decorated in the manner of a tropical paradise.
4) We also went to a 'blues' gig last week. It was actually pretty good, like, for Russia. 'Blues' in the sense that it was 'blues rock' in the sense that it was generic American hard rock. But still it was pretty good, had a chat to the singer after as he knows a former teacher of mine and he wanted to meet some foreign people. We really are a tasty dish, us foreigners.
5) Watched a film called 'Brat Dva'/Brother 2 last night, which concerns two brothers from a tiny village outside Moscow, who become entwined in dark dealings after their army service. Then their friend, a hockey player, goes to America to make his fortune, but they don't pay the transfer fee or something, so these two brothers go to America to get the money.
I may mention now that these two brothers are in fact hired killers in the mid-90s, and subsequently manage to get into all sorts of stereotypical situations exposing the Russian concept of both the national soul and the evilness of America. The guy that I live with, Sasha, pointed out to me that everyone in America is either about a)money or b) black. And thats not a good thing according to Sasha, who sincerely believes that black people (thats the race known as black people) should live in Africa, whilst Russians live in Russia and English people live in England. They're also all gangsters and crackheads apparently.
However, the best moment of the film was when the younger brother manages to get run over by a rich black woman, who then takes him back to her flat to fix him up. It turns out she's a famous TV presenter, and she's in a hurry, so she leaves him in her flat. Anyway, when she comes home and he's still there, he takes the opportunity to sex her hard.
At which point, Sasha turned to me (bearing in mind that we're currently in the midst of the great Race debate) and says "What do you like more, Tommy, black or white?" And I'm like, "What? Like girls? I don't know really" to which he responds "No, Tom. Semechki."
And he cracks up, and I crack up, and we both laugh for like 5 minutes.
"What are 'semeichki'?" You may ask. Well - semeichki are seeds that you eat, they're really popular in Russia, like crisps or nuts (also popular), and you get black ones and white ones. And we'd been eating quite alot of semeichki all the way through the film, so it was great fun all around.