29 09 2010

There are some major pluses and minuses to having my Russian classes only four days a week…with Wednesdays off.

Major plus: having every Tuesday night be a mini-weekend.

Major minus: having every Wednesday morning feel like the morning after a mini-weekend.

Yesterday after finishing class, Dennis – my fellow Fulbrighter – and I gussied ourselves up and headed over to La Bella Italia for a welcoming reception for Christian Wright, the new press officer at the embassy.  I’d met Christian a few times before, and he seems like a great guy.  There was a fair amount of schmoozing, free red wine, and free Italian food.  A win all around.

Afterwards, we met up with some of the other young expats at a Korean restaurant far on the other side of town to celebrate my roommate Stuart’s 24th birthday.   About half of the group indulged on Korean barbecue while the other half quaffed a few Baltika 7s and participated in general revelry.  After the restaurant manager informed us that they were closing at around 11, we hopped into a few cabs and headed to Anton’s, an underground bar in the basement of a building near the London School.  Anton’s serves two things: beer and vodka.  We all sat around in the musty, smoky, ammoniacal haze, sang songs, debated international politics and the effect of irridentism, discussed the merits of boxers versus briefs (boxer briefs!) and had a really drunk Russian guy tell us all about how to achieve peace in Kyrgyzstan.

After closing Anton’s down, we had a nightcap at Michael Jackson’s (yes, there is a bar in Bishkek called Michael Jackson’s.  And yes, it is a shrine to the King of Pop), and then all of a sudden it was closing in on 5am.  My three flatmates and I were the last four standing, and we caught a cab back to our apartment and finally called it a night.  So far this morning (nay, afternoon now), only Aaro and I have emerged from slumber.

At some point this afternoon I have to start my homework.   But I think right now I’ll take a nap…


Reception: прием (PREE-yehm)

To socialize: общаться (ahb-SHCHAHT-syah)

Hangover: похмелье (pakh-MEL-yeh)

Nap: короткий сон (KOHR-aht-kee SOHN)




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