Day 20 – Afternoon ballet, evening cards

St Petersburg, Russia

Well I mentioned yesterday that a group of Russians had invaded my dorm I was a bit worried about their inevitable loud arrival back to the dorm in the wee hours of the morning.

Turns out that it actually wasn’t a problem!

For one, because of my nap in the early evening, I was actually still awake when they all came back at 2am.

I gotta say though, even if I was sound asleep I don’t think I would have woken up.

I was seriously in awe as I watched them all quietly enter the room, change, and go to bed.

Not so much as a peep!

I’m pretty sure I’ll never see that again.

This morning they did the same as they packed up and checked out.

In all I saw them a total of maybe 15 minutes.  It was just the craziest thing.  I went from being in a room with 11 other people to all of sudden being in a room with just one other guy.

I did, however, wake up late.  I mean, I did go to bed pretty late and I didn’t really want to stand in line waiting for all these people to use the 2 available bathrooms.

So, around 11:30 I finally got up and headed out.

I had a ballet to get to!

The one and only other time I’ve gone to a ballet was in Split, Croatia during my Euro Trip two years ago.

On the spur of the moment yesterday I bought my ticket for the 1pm matinee.

After grabbing a quick crepe and bowl of borscht at my favorite restaurant (which I would visit two more times today), I walked over to the theatre.

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I sat in the nearby park watching people arrive before finally heading over to the doors at 12:30.

The theatre itself was actually pretty small but then again I had just visited the grand Bolshoi theatre a few days ago.

Also, unlike the Bolshoi where I shelled out 6000 rubles ($120) for a prime seat, I was going the cheap route this time with a 1000 ruble ($20) ticket.

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Not that any of that mattered because I was watching a ballet in Russia!

The ballet, by the way was Giselle, ou Les Wilis.

As I looked around in the crowd it became apparent that the men were vastly outnumbered (probably 10-1) and, hey, that’s not a bad thing!

The music and choreography went hand in hand and it told a beautiful story without a single word being uttered during the two hour performance.

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After the show I went back to the same restaurant I had been earlier (and yesterday, and the day before) and actually had the exact same lunch as yesterday.

Hey, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

In the afternoon I just hung around the hostel and before long the Russian guys (Daniil, Andrey, and Ruslan) I was hanging out with last night returned as well.

They were leaving in a couple of hours so we played cards to pass the time.

I actually love playing cards so when an opportunity arises I’m in.

The game they were playing was a Russian variation of a game I’ve played many times before.

Problem was there were also alot of differences in the game play and the fact that we couldn’t speak each others’ language made the rule explanation pretty tough.

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Luckily Diana the girl who works at the hostel joined in as well and could kind of explain things to me in English.

I watched them play for a bit and then joined in.  After a few goes at it I think I finally understood the rules but at the same time I had absolutely no strategy going.

Of course just as I was starting to really get it figured out it was time for the guys to leave for their train taking them back to Moscow.

Sad goodbye.

I will, however, look back at last night and tonight as a paradigm shift to my travels.

Maybe it’s not about all the stuff you see and things you do.  Maybe it’s just simply about the different people you meet along the way.

And it all started because I offered them kit kats.

Needless to say, there will now always be a supply in my backpack…

USSR Trip 2015, Trip Journal

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