Haydn & Hard Rock October 24-30

Haydn & Hard Rock October 24-30

The second week of October went by pretty uneventful, except our preparation for the midterms the following week. There was one thing that was a surprise. After we got home one day this week, there was a loud announcement over the PA system. Suddenly, those of us who were home, and understood Russian pretty well, came out of their rooms and said, “We’re quarantined? Because of swine flu?” Then others asked, “wait does that mean we can’t leave now?” “No, we just can’t have visitors.” So basically, since none of us have had any visitors except those already living in the dorm, nothing changed. But now many Russians wear those ridiculous masks all over the place–metro, city sidewalks, malls. Friends even compare the differences between one’s mask to another’s.

Another thing that is kind of odd is how people sell items on the metro. We’ll get on in the morning on the way to school and as soon as the doors close, a person will begin talking in Russian holding the item for sale and waving it around, pointing out all the ‘good’ things about it. Today, the day I’m writing this, a lady got on and tried to sell a battery powered desk/reading lamp for 100p, about $3. One time, a man got on and successfully sold a knife sharpener to a passenger. Weird, but I guess effective.

Also, the Kindle and other electronic reading devices have become very popular over here, probably because of the convenience. I see people using them on the Metro all the time, I even try to read over their shoulders occasionally. Although, it saddens me, for some reason, that people are reading an electronic device and not a real bound book. But I still see some people with real books, magazines, and newspapers so all is not lost.

Anyway, Saturday the 24th I was invited by my friend Mason, who has been over here on his mission, to his 2-year mark dinner. We ate with his fellow elder at some French restaurant on the edge of the city, called Le Noir… The idea of the place is guests eat in a completely pitch black room. Blind people provide the music entertainment as well as wait the tables. Guests order either a meat dish, vegetable dish, seafood dish, or a mix of the three. Then they trust that the waiters bring what they ordered. Unfortunately it was a bit more expensive than we had prepared for so we just ate upstairs. The food was still great and we had a good time. This was the metro station I stopped at to meet them. It had some pretty cool decorations:

A pianist decorating the wall with his performance.

A pianist decorating the wall with his performance.

A hero with the world in his hands (Mir). Or it could be peace. The words are the same in Russian.

A hero with the world in his hands (Mir). Or it could be peace. The words are the same in Russian.

The next morning a few of us went back to the Disneyland Market.

It's weird, the buildings are jutted right up against really trashy dumps. This is kind of how all of Moscow is. There will be a beautiful old cathedral and right next to it will stand a really ugly business building. There seems to be little separation between art and function here. After all, Russia had no idea what a monument was other than a church until recently.

It’s weird, the buildings are jutted right up against really trashy dumps. This is kind of how all of Moscow is. There will be a beautiful old cathedral and right next to it will stand a really ugly business building. There seems to be little separation between art and function here. After all, Russia had no idea what a monument was other than a church until recently.

Our university here offers many different kinds of classes. Every Wednesday night a bunch of adult women come in for some class and over fill the largest room:

I don't know what's taught but they continually pass the lecture notes through the doorway. It must be an interesting class, or really necessary.

I don’t know what’s taught but they continually pass the lecture notes through the doorway. It must be an interesting class, or really necessary.

On the 29th, we were invited to some classical concerts by some of the other Russians in our dorm. We went first to see a Haydn concert performed by students at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory and then a piano recital by students there.

A quaint hall for a small orchestra.

A quaint hall for a small orchestra.

Look, they even have a harpsichord!

Look, they even have a harpsichord!

Then a pianist came out and played a huge grand piano for her piano concerto. It was very out of place. Not only was it one of the largest grands I'd seen, but it was entirely out of place. If they have a harpsichord why don't they have a fortepiano as well?

Then a pianist came out and played a huge grand piano for her piano concerto. It was very out of place. Not only was it one of the largest grands I’d seen, but it was entirely out of place. If they have a harpsichord why don’t they have a fortepiano as well?

The recital was exceptionally long and the first pianist was absurd. She was amazingly full of herself, and I couldn't help laughing as she repeatedly kept staring at the ceiling during the performance puckering her lips or something. To top it off her playing wasn't that great either.

The recital was exceptionally long and the first pianist was absurd. She was amazingly full of herself, and I couldn’t help laughing as she repeatedly kept staring at the ceiling during the performance puckering her lips or something. To top it off her playing wasn’t that great either.

The next pianist was a bit better and she was more modest. For the most part the rest of the pianists were pretty good, especially the girl who played Brahms’s 4 Ballads. Unfortunately, for Bach and Liszt, this dude butchered one of Liszt’s “Bach Preludes.” He just played the whole thing loud, and louder, and louder, until eventually I had to plug my ears because they were hurting. Then he played the next piece very quiet and beautifully. I don’t know what his deal was.

On October 30th, it snowed! It wasn’t much, but it stuck overnight. To celebrate the end of our midterms, we decided to lunch at Hard Rock Cafe, as we walk past it everyday to and from school:

Hard Rock Cafe Moscow

Hard Rock Cafe Moscow

Proof that we were there

Proof that we were there

I didn't remember that Hard Rock had all this cool paraphernalia.

I didn’t remember that Hard Rock had all this cool paraphernalia.

It was amazing how much I felt like I was back in the states while we ate there. The music, the English menus, the American Rock souvenirs, the whole atmosphere made me feel quite at home. It was a wonderful feeling. I’m definitely going back again sometime.

2 Responsesto “Haydn & Hard Rock October 24-30”

  1. Mike "your cousin" gravely says:

    Dude omfg the lighter is awsome and don’t worry bout me throughin the card out cause I’m fuckin framein that. Thanks again u are the man, also hard rock cafe is the shit hope the food was good. Missin ya back here in boresville USA.

    Hopeing everything is goin great over there
    Mike “your cousin” Gravely

  2. LebCa says:

    Haha glad you like it man. I was worried it wouldn’t make it all the way there. Hard Rock was great. I got a western bbq bacon cheeseburger, YUM. It was delicious. Except, I’m used to a mound of fries back home but here we all got a little pile, which was probably better for me, but I definitely wouldn’t have turned them away if they gave me more. Hey, the USA can’t be all that bad—I’m still scrambling to find a theatre where I can watch Avatar, and it probably won’t even be in IMAX.

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