Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bureaucracy, and also Kunstkammer

Today, we headed out early to get things signed by our teachers. And had marginal luck finding them. And then the main office was empty, so we couldn't even finish doing our business. And Charlie has a nasty cold, and we were all just generally annoyed at the whole process being silly.

And then we wandered until the Kunstkammer opened. John and I want to go in and see a church while we're here, but I (of course) forgot my scarf to put over my head. So I went in search of one to buy, and we had to wait for the girls at the Accessorize store to finish smoking so they could open at 10. at 10:05 they were done, and we went in and found nothing worth spending money on. Alas. So I guess we'll go to a church another day.

So, because of our stomachs and Charlie's nasal passages, we went to "Kofe Khaus", a chain which is much like Starbucks (on every corner). Except, as we learned today, the service, the food, and the decor is not as good as Starbucks. We had slow waitresses, bitter tea, warm orange juice, and lukewarm bliny that tasted a little bit the way puppies smell. And everything in there was a little strangely proportioned, which was as inconvenient for the waitresses and their trays as it was for Alexandra, whose purse slipped off her shoulder and into the awkwardly positioned sink while she washed her hands. I was luckier - in my stall, on top of the toilet, was a birdy. Like for badminton. No understanding it.

So after that mess, we went off to the Kunstkammer. The line was much shorter than usual, but the old ladies: still vicious. Sometimes they won't even be in line, and they'll feel that they are perfectly entitled to cut in front of you right before the ticket booth. It's rude, and obnoxious.
We have found that
1) You are most likely to be shoved or otherwise rudely bobbled about at fancy places like museums or theatres.
2) If you're going to be shoved, run-down, or squished by anyone it's going to be an old lady. The men here? Mostly polite, or oblivious. Girls? Too busy fixing their makeup and making sure their pants aren't falling down. Old ladies? Have somewhere to go, and you can go directly to the devil and whine about it if that's inconvenient.
3) As long as you don't speak English right before the ticket-booth, you can get the Russian student price, rather than the FOREIGNER price which is 150 rubles more (two bliny!)

The Kunstkammer was basically a weird museum. It was like "Look, at this strange and foreign lands - here is all about their cultures!" Which was neat, because they had a spinning wheel from everywhere, and I desperately wanted to take pictures, but the photo ticket babushki were extra fierce. And then it was like this "FETUSES: and not normal ones, but weird creepy ones, also some babies in jars. And by some I mean A LOT." Some people have weird hobbies. And I refuse to consider the possibility of those babies and preserved baby organs coming to find me in my dreams. The two-headed calf was alright, he was pretty cute.

After the Kunstkammer, Alexandra and I went to the CD store where I had a music accident. 2 Kino CD's, 2 Nautilus Pompilius CD's, and a greatest hits of Akvarium later . . .I also had to get a CD with 1000 Russian fonts on it. 1000! And most of them seem to work in English, too!

Then, back here. I made grilled cheeses for lunch, and then like...two hours later, I made southern fried potatoes (in a skillet, with lots of butter, because that's all we've got) and egg sandwiches. But the sandwiches were open-faced, because Ukrainian bread is apparently very hearty sourdough, and I was unaware of that when I bought it. It's dangerously possible to overwhelm the contents of one's sandwich.

Other than that, not much else is new. We tried for a while to translate Charlie's talking mushroom - some luck, but it still sounds pretty creepy. I wrote it out in the Russian Quake font, which is even creepier.

We have new roommates in the room next door. Not so bad, but that kitchenette is more crowded with more dishes in it, and it's everyone for themselves with the toilet paper. Did I mention I accidentally got some scented toilet paper? It smells like popsicles, but the packaging says nothing about a scent. That's false advertising right there.
Also, I went to take a shower last night and one of the room chairs was in the bath-room... Still not sure why. It's all a mystery.

1 comment:

tillitron said...

Ahahaha, there's a foreigner price?
That's hilarious! Also, old ladies here are secretly evil... at least they're open about it there. I can't wait to be old and evil!