Thursday, June 9, 2011

St Petersburg Shenanigans: June 9

Olga's high school reunion
This morning I wasn't quite ready to go when Olga had to leave the house, so I was granted special permission to travel on my own. The directions weren't perfect, which gave me a chance to explore a little. I ended up getting walked over by a young man in the military academy. He led a conversation asking where I am from, how long have I been here, am I Jewish? As we walked, I wondered if we were instead going to the gulag, but it turned out quite alright. He wasn't very nice, but he was helpful. Olga and I reconnected and hopped on the bus.
On the ride to the dinner, a rude selfish guy perhaps in his mid to late 20s yelled at Olga - he said she should go to America if she insists on speaking English loudly. She tore into him the likes of which I have rarely seen. They went nonstop until we reached the last stop of the bus route. Olga told him "molchi v triapochku" (be silent into a rag) and he literally ran off. I am so proud :)

Bill up to his old shenanigans

10 classmates showed up for Olga's 15-year high school reunion dinner, which is about half the class. In Russia, students are assigned to a class - and spend every period of the day, every schoolday of the year, and every year of their career at that school - with the same 20 kids. We met at an Armenia-style restaurant, which is somewhat similar to Mediterranean. I ordered a few things which they didn't have or they warned would take an hour to cook, and eventually settled on ground beef shashlik (kebabs) and a sort of tzatziki made with matsun. The food was good - I'd like to try more specialties from this region.

Foosball at Dunes

After dinner, we met up with our British friend Bill at his favorite haunt Dunes. It's a bar built in the style of a beach complete with a breakdancefloor, piles of sand, foosball table, and ping pong. I guess it's more like a bar than a beach, actually. There's a low-key vibe and folks seem very friendly to foreigners. Bill knew everyone on the 'beach' except one group of guys in the corner, so I promptly met them and introduced Bill around. Dunes has a really terrific Slovakian stout called Zlaty Bazant - I don't think I've had it before, but I'll be looking for it again.


mizzkg said...

What's a gulag? Jail? And I don't remember Bill. What's his story? Does he live in St. Pete's?

The Captain said...

Bill is a teacher and does indeed live in SPB :)

mizzkg said...

Aye, aye Captain. :)

Olga Gorya said...

I have just started reading your posts and saw that one and loved the episode when Olga said to that rude young man "molchi v trjapochku" Its so fun to hear it from you Dave! Great, will continue reading your posts:)