So i haven't posted in a few days ... let me catch you up!
It snowed for two days straight (Thursday and Friday) and then on Saturday it warmed back up to 0c (32f) and all the snow started melting again. In fact, as i look outside right now it's almost all gone :-(
Ah well, this gives me a chance to take some pictures without snow so that y'all can get an idea of what Izhevsk might look like in the fall instead of the winter :-D
Pretty soon i think we'll be heading out to go to Irina's family's place, btw, so this might be a short blog.
So yeah, let's see ... on Thursday night i got to hang out with Ivan, who i met through the volunteer whose enthusiasm about the program inspired me to choose the Svezhy Veter program over the other volunteer programs i found on the interwebs.
We started off at a place called the "Reading Room", which is an "Irish pub" right off the central square. I don't know why i'm putting "Irish pub" in quotes, when even in the US all i've ever been to is "Irish pubs". Maybe some day i'll go to Ireland and i can go to an actual Irish pub.
So then we went to a bar that i think is called "Friday's" or "Friday", but i'm not sure. It was pretty good - I had a good time and tried a couple of beers throughout the night. I also got to meet Oleg, who's a pretty cool cat. The only problem is that he speaks very little English, and as you may have ascertained, i speak very little Russian. But it's amazing what alcohol and pantomiming can do. :-D
So then on Friday, Ivan and i tried to go to a discotheque (at like, MIDNIGHT) and we got turned away. Apparently they have "face police" who won't let you in if they don't like the way you look/smell/talk/whatever. So ... i'm pretty sure it was me that they didn't like. Whatevs :-) So then we decided to just head to Friday's, where we'd ended up on Thursday night.
IT WAS TOTALLY DIFFERENT. The music was THUMPING and there were folks all getting down on the dancefloor. Also, there were topless girls dancing on the stage. This was not a strip club, it was a bar. Just a bar. And there were topless girls. For the life of me, i can't figure out why more American college boys don't try to come to Russia for Spring Break :-D
So that was pretty fun, but the highlight of the night was definitely when i had Absinthe. Yes, Absinthe. I may not know how to spell it, but i now know how to drink it. The guy put it in a cognac glass and LIT IT ON FIRE. After it had warmed up sufficiently, he cupped the glass to put it out, emptied the drink into another glass, then flipped the original glass upside down with a straw sticking out of it.
So what i had to do was drink the Absinthe, then breathe through the straw. This was difficult. Very difficult. It was like trying to breathe ... well ... fire. Freaking fire. But i managed after a bit. It didn't really hit me very hard, and i'd already had a few drinks, so i guess maybe it's just an experience thing. But either way it was pretty neato :-)
So then yesterday we went to the Kalashnikov Museum. I took plenty of pictures, so head over to the picture site when you get a chance. The cathedral is just outside and it looked absolutely amazing at night. The museum itself was pretty interesting, especially since there was also an exhibit on life during the Czarist period.
OK, so i think i've given you enough fun. Oh, but one last thing - there was totally a firing range inside the basement of the museum. I mean, it IS a gun museum, so that makes sense :-D
OK, gtg. C ya l8r allig8tr.