Avangard is very handy. Their goalie looked pretty hot tonight, very elastic, very cat-like.
I don’t think Minsk posed much of a challenge for Avangard. The Minsk goalie was fairly overwhelmed most of the time and their D, while earnest and usually to be found at the correct end of the rink, could not stop Omsk.
I was so tired that I hallucinated hearing people speak whole sentences in English and French, sentences that were not spoken… I think. I found no one at all that spoke English. I did not find Inna, but the stadium was packed. Not easy to spot one person among so many people.
People. Very different crowd. Not so jolly as their big city counterparts. Is it because there is less to do and many seats are filled by default? Or do they have less to be jolly about out here? Or are they just more restrained than Moscow or St. Pete fans?
Also, the selections for the tween-play music included nothing softer than Bon Jovi, Living on a Prayer, which was more Minsk’s song than Omsk’s, at least during this game. Anyway, there was no Michael Jackson’s anything. Not for this crowd.
Pretty sure I was marked and ripped off for the Jagr jersey. Pretty sure I don’t want to give it to the friend who sent me to get her a really cool jersey. This is THE coolest I can get unless a Shark gives me one off of his person. I think my friend will understand. I simply could not come to Omsk and not go away with a Jagr sweater, even if they did charge me twice the anticipated price and not take credit cards. Sorry, S.
Were it not for Jagr, I would have to dislike this team. They wear red and black and their mascot is a black hawk. Yeeee—eeek!
To give them credit, Minsk had their moments. Their goalie had his moments. Sometimes Avangard had trouble getting through, and frequently the goalie had something to do with that. Sure, the score ended up 4-1 but Avangard was shooting a lot.
Jagr seemed to spend most of his time stealing the puck and giving it to one of Omsk’s apparently plentiful snipers. This seemed pretty easy for him. Fans nuts about him.
I was not close enough to be sure, but I did not see much chatter going on between the benches. And unless SKA surprises me, I believe that fighting is very much frowned on in the KHL. again, no fights. And this time no pucks to the face either. Nice.
Omsk reminds me a little of the untouristed cities I saw in the Czech Republic. People are more low key, a little curious about me, more restrained. There’s a toughness that can be evaporated by the dumb-ass question “do you speak
English?” I guess that is like saying “thee is no way you can be as lost as I am.” Sure, they shake their heads “no,” but they smile and their posture relaxes.
I had to ask at least seven people for help to find and ride the buses back from the arena. None spoke English. One man at the arena even walked me to my bus. I had asked after the bus to the train station and I guess my accent was passable enough to convince him and his friend that I could understand the answer, so they started to explain it at length. Damn accent. I heard a number in all that and tried to find a pen. After watching me rifle my purse for a while, one of them tapped me on the arm and gestured for me to follow him. So that’s how I found the right bus. He was big and gruff and were it not for him I probably would still be walking the 10 miles back from the Omsk Arena in the freezing cold, instead of having broth in the hotel bar.
Great. NOW I get a text message from Inna saying she was at the game, sitting 2 sectors away. Stupid Moscow cell phone.
Oct 4, Omsk Airport, 5:50 am
Had a hell of a time getting through Omsk airport security. It probably didn’t help that when I handed over my passport, there was a wad of cash in it. Not much, not enough for a legit bribe, about 180 rubles. Good thing the USDs weren’t in there. The hazards of using a single-pocket neck purse for cash and passport.
Anyway, I had to sit behind the passport guy while they found someone who did speak English. He asked where my registration was, pointing to the arrival date on my immigration slip. Since Go To Russia had told me not to bother registering in Moscow (it being the weekend and all), I had no papers for Moscow or the first four days of my trip. Moscow passport control didn’t catch that. Neither did St. Pete’s. Hm. Anyway, I explained about arriving on Friday and the weekend and all that and this seemed to satisfy him. Or else he didn’t want to be bothered with more English interrogation.
They also took my water bottle away from me. They let me swallow as much as I could first but then they made me leave it behind. Oh well, I am better off than I was on the last flight. I think Americans drink a lot of water or something.