Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Where has all the hot water gone?

Apparently, they go around turning off the pipes in the summer so they can clean them. To be honest, I'd rather have hot water. The water isn't safe to drink, and the brownness always goes away after a couple of seconds, so why bother? The moral of the story is cold showers are cold, but after two days I couldn't put off showering any longer.

Today we had class, mine was the reading section with the Wednesday teacher, who has just these stunningly ice-blue eyes. All of my teachers (there are 3) are such Russian ladies in very different ways. Apparently Wednesday teacher isn't going to be our Wednesday teacher anymore, which is a shame, because I really like her. But I like Monday and Tuesday teacher as well, and she's taking over Wednesdays. So all is well.

We read a story today in class about a little girl who is terrible ill, because she simply must meet an elephant. And so she does, and is healthy. There's a lot more to it, but that's the idea. And then we made up dialogues, and titles for the chapters, and it was just silly, really. Still no banana pastry in my hungry little paws at break, tragic.

After class we toddled over to Imperator, a crazy fancy restaurant that we remembered had "Business-Lunch", for 190 rubles. Literally, визнес-ланч. Say business lunch with a Russian accent, and there you go. Originally they seated us on the fancy side, with the brocade chairs and woven table cloths and fancy napkins, and excruciatingly delicious-looking menu. I said to myself "Alas, self, I don't know if I have enough cash for this!" as soon as I saw the table setting. "But wait, I have my credit card if there's an emergency!" (I was hoping there would be a food emergency, in my mouth. I want one of everything on that menu). Menu told me, "Sorry, lady, no credit cards." John went and asked about business lunch, and they rerouted us to a different room that looked a bit like a dungeon with a bar. Much more comfortable, much less expensive. And business lunch? You sit, and they just bring you food. I assume you get your own drinks at the bar, but we just went thirsty. They brought us bread, Olivier salad, yummy soup, and then mashed potatoes with what I think was mackerel. It was all plain, and it was all delicious - which makes me want to try the fancy stuff even more, because you've got to be a good cook if you can make plain and simple food so amazing.

The Kunstkamera lines were still massive, so we went to the Zoological Museum instead! It was...a whole lot of dead animals. Some were neat and well preserved, and some have obviously been there since before the invention of modern taxidermy. It was all pretty cool, though. I think the Blue Whale at the Whaling Museum is bigger (haha, take that, Zoological museum!). I put up a few pictures, but my camera is getting low on battery and I wanted to make sure I saved it for the goofy stuff. Like that rodent with his party teeth on, and the touching sign that is now my desktop.

On the way back, I mentioned that I may or may not go on a killing spree if we had to eat downstairs at the cafeteria again. I was a little surprised when everyone agreed. So we stopped at the Park Inn (fancy hotel with an ATM that doesn't charge) and pretended like we belonged and got some rubles, and then the grocery store for some vittles. And then came back here and fell over. And then went over to the market next door for some more vittles. So I made ramen noodles with added veggies fried in butter, we bought a whole rotisserie chicken for the equivalent of $5, and had a feast. And then since we don't have an oven we fried some bread in butter on the stove and put honey on it. It was immensely pleasing after a week and a half of only restaurant food. And apparently, Papa, I have learned how to carve a chicken (though not very neatly) after all these years of watching you do it ^.^ I was also loathe to throw out the carcass thinking I should try and make some soup, but the boys were threatening to fling it out the window (for some reason they really want to do that) and I thought it would be safer if it just went into the trash.

And now I'm just hanging around, making Skype calls and bothering people and wishing we had hot water. I really, really wish we had hot water. Because a lukewarm shower I can manage, and swimming in cold water is refreshing, but there's just something about sticking my head under a faucet of ice water that's not nice. Alexandra had the right idea and ran up and down the stairs a few times before she tried it, but she's been doing that anyway training for soccer. And I uh...I don't run. Unless it's a safety issue.

We bought our first ballet tickets, today! We're going to see Le Corsair at the Marinsky on Friday, and I am vair excited. I don't know if it's a "good" ballet, but hey. It sounds like there are sailors and pirates and maidens and harem girls, and also the Kirov ballet - how can we go wrong? The boys don't want to go, but when I mentioned that maybe they might want to escort us home for safety purposes, they basically said "Duh, we were going to do that no matter what," and looked at me as if I were a fool. Which is comforting.

Also, as a mass thingy: Thanks for the comments, everyone who commented!!! I'm reading them and loving them, but I can't figure out how to comment so that I'm replying to you and not to myself. When I figure it out, I'll be less of a bum.


Anonymous said...

Hi ladicakes! It's tillie. That ballet sounds fab! Also, yay for your culinary endeavors, though booo to carcass launching. Huff, that's boys for ya... airborne carcasses are rarely a female's idea. Speaking of female superiority, anne bishop apparently has a new black jewel book out! Am I the only one who didn't know?! Have you read it? I'm hunting it down this weekend, and if you haven't read it, I'll mail it to you if that sounds fun :) Also, OH MAN! I have cooked up a grand fiesta to welcome you home once you are unjetlagged, ahhhyaycantwait! The only difficulty may be in wrangling everyone... hussies.
As for lack of hot water, do you have a microwave and a facecloth? Cause if so you maybe can microwave a big bowl of water, take it into the shower stall, and basically spongebathe. Not very relaxing, to be sure, but I'm guessing ice water isn't terribly relaxing either. Many hugs!!!

Anonymous said...


Corsaire is one of my FAVORITES. It has by far some of the best dancing, funniest scenes, and coolest/most convoluted story of all the ballets. And you obvs can't lose with the Kirov. Haha, I was going to have to yell at you most severely if you didn't see a ballet. Please try to remember as many details as you can for little ol' me! Fun fact: My ballet coach told me that when she danced there, the dressing rooms had gilded mirrors. Vair opulent! Hope it still is.

- Karen