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Saturday, August 26, 2006

My Hovercraft is Full of Eels

Ferry to Vladivostok

Damage report: Chris sustained an unknown head injury from last night and bled for some time, Nik woke up saying, 'Where am I? Where are my glasses?' and the toilet roll in our bathroom was drenched (the result of Nik deciding to have a shower while quite clearly intoxicated). Apart from that all is good.

We spend most of the day in our cabin, away from the gold toothed-mafiosi with toothpicks jutting from their mouths. We assume that the tracksuit wearing guys are Russian mob. We could be wrong of course but they all seem so dodgy. The ferry is so laden with cars without number plates that its not funny. Even the swimming pool has cars in it! The secondhand vehicles cling to every surface of the ship, like metallic leaches. Even inside the ferry we can't seem to get soft drinks from the bar without coming across cardboard boxes with Subaru parts, just sitting in the middle of the walkway.

In our cabin I try to study up some last minute Russian before we dock into Vladivostok tomorrow. There is a black-and-white TV here in the cabin that has been on pretty much constantly since yesterday. There's a Russian police drama (we presume), a game show ('Who wants to win a Thousand Roubles?') and an onslaught of news reports about a mob boss getting gunned down by Kalashnikovs, planes falling out of the sky, a famous church burning down in Moscow and in Missouri tornados are tearing apart the landscape.

I hadn't done as much Russian revision as I'd like to have done. In class, our Russian teacher, Barbra, would sometimes play a video tape shot in the 70's. It was supposed to help us with our vocabulary. So, the whole class would be listening intently to these overacting Russians from thirty years ago, and suddenly they'd burst out laughing. The whole class. I'd look around confused. An hour later I'd still be trying to figure out what was so funny.

Today I am faced with the same problem. As I pour over the books and the notes from months ago I'm trying to recall key words and phrases. Nothing seems to be sticking in my mind. I'll just have to hope that the minimal phrases I know ('Hello'- two different ways; formal and informal, 'Your ferret looks dangerous' and 'How old is your daughter?') and pointing will suffice for the next month.



Blogger piglet said...

yo Fatman!i cant get into ur blog anymore-wats going on??had to do a search on blogger. plus ur email doesnt work and iv wasted two-yes two-very impressive heart wrenching wud make u miss me like crazy emails!humph email me-its littleoldpiglet@hotmail

8:14 pm  

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