On Saturday I took Katerina to see the world-famous Moscow Ballet Company perform Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite". I wanted to be sure to see a ballet in Russia because it's sort of a cultural institution. Russia is famous for ballet!
I had never been to a ballet before Saturday and I wasn't sure if I would like it or not but, as it turns out, I had a great time! Not only was the entire story of the Nutcracker told through dance (none of that retarded modern interpretational dance), but the music was fantastic and I had managed to secure front-row seats which made the show more intimate and allowed me to see up the ballerinas skirts.
Russians have a cultural habit of clapping in unison when a performer has impressed them, rather than in the thunderous outburst of individual applause that most of the rest of the world does. I found this uncomforting and didn't partake in many of the applauses, although silently in my head I was applauding the performances. I need to look into where this comes from. Is it a uniquely Russian way of applauding, is it a leftover from Communist times, or is it one of those instances of Russia borrowing from another culture and making it slightly weird (like their toilets)?
No photography was allowed, so I couldn't take any pictures, but on Sunday I joined Quagmire, Wonderpants and Ms. Australia at a knock-off "Irish" bar in Mytischi called Temble Bar to watch the big gold-medal game in Olympic men's hockey between Canada and the U.S.A.
It was a fantastic game with America tying it up in the last 20 seconds of the third period, and Canada going on to win 3-2 in overtime. I had to work Monday morning but we stayed there until 2 am watching the game.
Katerina became very pissed off at me around 1 am because she also had to work in the morning. I had warned her beforehand that the game would likely go until 1, but apparently she took this to mean that, regardless of the score, we would leave at 1. She was in a huff for the rest of the night.
Nevertheless, despite the pissy girlfriend, the hockey game was fun and I presented Wonderpants and Quagmire with silver medals Katerina and I had made before the game. That was a venue I do have pictures from, and below you can see how this Canadian hockey fan in Moscow helped cheer his team to a gold-medal victory!
The game on TV at Temple Bar Mytischi
My lucky mittens (knitted by my girlfriend) with a Canadian dollar (AKA: loony)
Decked out super-fan in Moscow, Russia.