A long, well maintained log cabin nestles at the base of 30-50 year old 15 story apartment complex. Between these and the river, a new structure is going up, a 20 something story affair with rudimentary but cheerful details at the top. Across the river, enormous barracks-like housing stare back at them. Low ramshackle wooden structures were once pretty, some of their neighbors are better maintained. There is a lot of space between everything here. Clearly acreage is not at a premium.
The library reminds me of a Soviet-style monument, the one in St. Pete’s? The new church has a gold dome and brightly colored tiles and festive curliques. Brand spanking new and in the style of my favorite churches.
Sting’s “Mad About You” is playing on the radio. Fitting. Crazy, love, chaos, victory, ruin.
I decided not to sleep but I am also too tired to go looking for an internet cafe. I made a lame attempt to see the sights and almost fell asleep on my feet in front of a billiards bar.
The woman at the ticket office didn’t speak much English. She could say “400? 500? 600? 700?” meaning rubles. Like everyone (almost) here, she was cheerful and patient anyway. I had my own list of numbers so between our numbers and the seating chart I got a ticket I think will be pretty good.
There was a line when I arrived, though it had only opened 2 minutes before I got there. They must have been waiting for the ticket office to open. I think I was the only woman in the line, save a woman with two small children. Why does that matter? ‘Cuz it does. One, the presence of the children told me that this was not such a scandalous place to be seen if kids could be there. But, two, I had no children to imply the presence of a man. So I still stuck out like I was the only woman there. Nobody seemed to care. If they stared it was discreet.
I think someone cut in front of me but that is hardly surprising for serious hockey fans. The game looks like it will be sold out, so why dawdle behind some clueless female when you probably have to get back to work or something?
I shelled out 700 rubles, (around 35 bucks?) for eighth row seats behind the visitor’s bench. The seats behind the home team’s bench were understandably no available. When I asked about those seats the woman behind the window jovially scoffed and said “niet, niet.”
This will be interesting.
The game I caught on tv was pretty interesting. The fact that Omsk lost in a shoot out was not so interesting, but the fact that they got to a shoot out when they were down by 2 goals with about 5 minutes left in the third was pretty exciting.
I wonder if I will be able to find Inna at the game. I am pretty sure my cell phone is out of pre-paid minutes.