Sunday, April 20, 2014

My Russian Diary - Day 3

Day 4 - March 23, Zaporozhye

Woke up at 6:30. Medical check-up is at 8. Not feeling well. Vodka and champagne last night. Outside, I could see only  few people on the streets.

At 8, people started to go out. Realized  that drivers of buses and trolley cars were women. Quite amusing. And hotel utility people were also women, mostly of late age and fat. But they were nice, cheerful and honest people. We call them our dear “babushkas”.

A funny thing happened during my check-up. Just when the lady doctor placed her stethoscope on my breast, my Citizen Ana-Digi watch chimed. Both the doctor and Lyudmilla, our interpreter, were stunned, the stethoscope falling out of the doctor’s hand. This technology has not yet come to their place. They could only laugh at their ignorance.

Went back to the hotel at 4 pm. Café and restaurant were closed. Had to go out with Cudra ( from Mozambique) to take some food. Found few eating places but many people were falling in line. This is a common thing here, queuing in cafes, open markets, shops, everywhere. Every morning at the hotel, we fall in line for breakfast. And the pace was so slow. Finally, found one place but there was nothing to choose. Service and quality are visibly absent here.

That night, Mumtaz (from Pakistan) brought us to a party inside the hotel in celebration of Pakistan Day. Many Pakistanis came, mostly exchange students  and  worker trainees. Champagne and vodka flowed and we drunk a lot. My Philip Morris and Marlboro were favourites. Russian cigarettes were lousy. And people danced with gusto. And how they love foreign music. Old Western favourites-Yesterday, Feelings, Ebony and Ivory were hits. Just before midnight, the party broke up. All activities here stop at midnight.  Amused at everybody hurrying down the streets while militiamen scour the area, seeing everything’s in order and everybody leaves the place. Even drunk people follow to the letter this regulation, without question. And to think that their militiamen carry no guns-only radio and ‘’batuta’’. But I observed them to be strict but disciplined too, and respectful. Call that fear or respect of the law, but to my mind this is so far the safest place I’ve been to and known.

Finished the night with more Vodka at Muminagic’s ( from Yugoslavia) room.

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