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Maly Goes To The Motherland Ep 6

By Lawrence Benedict 'Malystryx' Phillips
Aug 5, 2007 15:06

Although the trip is already over I still have notes from each day as well as photos so due to pressure from my brother amongst others to finish all the episodes I shall continue the tales of the Motherland!
All previous photos as well as some extra ones (all taken with my mobile phone so sorry for bad quality) are viewable in the ***]Malystryx's Motherland Gallery[/url]!***
Today marked what I called the "Dacha part 2" which involved another visit to a Russian "summer house" this one owned by the aunt and uncle of my brothers wife who I met in Episode 2. The road to their "summer house" was significantly less bumpy but still worthy of being a Rally Racing track with my dad mumbling "oh no, not again" once the car started to bump up and down along an extremely dodgy road. The dachas are organised into a grid with no centre just lines of houses along the many dusty roads dividing them. ~ Pro Car Journey Part 1 | Pro Car Journey Part 2
The dacha of the aunt and uncle was actually quite impressive, they'd manage to cram so many vegetables into such a small space as well as having their own small russian sauna called "bagna" which was quite common in a Russian dacha. Dacha Garden | Dacha Garden 2 | Dacha Land | Dacha House
The idea was to have lunch with them, to experience the russian bagna and then travel back home. The meal itself was a sort of doughnut with potato inside o_O with chicken and some vegetables. (obviously). I was beginning to get a little tired with the over-complication of three languages being used when we all talked. Normally Russell (my brother) & Oxana (his wife) acted as intepretors, we would try to speak with the Russian we knew and if complications arose they would help to translate. However due to the Soviet occupation of East Germany a lot of the older Russians know German and the uncle was one of them whilst the aunt was not. Now my parents and my brother understand/speak German, but me the aunt + Oxana do not. So he kept trying to use his German, the aunt was speaking Russian and us speaking English o_O Unnecessarily complicated ^^ Both my brothers know German since they chose it as their 3rd language at school, they used to talk to each other in German when I was younger since I did not understand, evil :( ~ Group Photo
After the lunch, we went for a walk to the river nearby since it takes an hour for the bagna to heat up. the way it works is a fire is made on one side which then heats a pile of stones on the other side inside the sauna room which then starts to emit heat, the heating up takes time though so we went for a walk. Obviously no Dacha would be without a huge population of mosquitos which proceeded to eat us as we travelled towards the river. ~ Mosquito Protection.
As we reached the river, we see crazy uncle Dima arrive on his bike, he does not seem to be in control of this bike and Sophia is sitting on the back. It turns out the bike has no brakes, why would it? So my dad had a ride on the sand with a bike with no brakes, turned out okay though, shame. ~ Pro Bike no Brakes
We went in the bagna when we got back, it was amazing! Apart from the strange rituals of wearing a ridiculous hat, and rubbing honey into our skin to help the "bad things" come out as we sweat, not to mention hitting yourself with a birch branch to help blood circulation, it was as expected ;) I managed to last a long time with my brother and my dad giving up and then Uncle Dima coming in to throw water onto the burning hot stones to create a huge wave of heat, he then made me lie down and hit me with a birch branch, to help circulation as the heat increases. In the end he said I should go out, then comes the best part having cold water thrown over you which resulted in a huge scream of "OH MY GOOOOOOOOD".
After the bagna we prepared to go home, without my "permission" my brother and dad had organised for to meet a friend of the Russians called Olga so I could "meet people my own age". I was a little skeptical about this forced friendship but it turned out well and I spent the evening with Olga and her mate Russlan a crazy russian. Supposidly her English was "really good" but infact my brother exagerated and I spent the evening using my limited Russian and somehow managing to make myself understood.
The key to understanding is eye contact, and using your hands to express, people really do not realise this but even with small vocabulary if you have eye contact with the person and you are pretty good at charades then everything will be ok! It's a... BOOK! 3 words... first word, xxD We were supposed to go to a restaurant together but Olga a little shy had invited a mate to come Russlan in the hope his English was better than hers. She had not seen him for 6 years and he obviously had taken some time to get ready to impress her but turned out he did not speak English at all! He could understand though, sort of. ~ Olga & Russlan
We hopped in his "ride" which looked pretty acceptable for a Russian car until I got in and noticed his windscreen, as mentioned in Episode 1 a broken windscreen seems to be a sign of respect but this was going a step too far. Russlan's Windscreen | Crazy Russlan & his Ride!. I suppose though after seeing a Russian Bus ( RUSSIAN BUS ) I think the car was an ok deal.
We drove around got a pizza, then went to a park where I attracted unwanted attention. In Russia security guards seem to be present everywhere, initially I thought they were military but they were a similar blueish camouflage. Anyway we sat down in like a seating area in the park, it was about 10:30pm and a security guard overhearing English comes to talk to me. He sits next to us and starts talking to me, Olga can't really keep up with translating so I make an effort to nod as if I understood. I asked if he had killed anyone, if he has more power than police, I asked him did he know kung fu, his reply was "I know to fight... RUSSKI STYLE".
He then proceeded to tell me he used to be criminal and wrote down some "criminal code" in Russian. Olga was worried and kept saying "shall we go" and nodding her head towards the exit but I was ok and found this bloke interesting. He then called his mate over and I asked for him to do some RUSSKI STYLE on his co-worker, he refused, he said they were friends, I suggested that they need to keep fit and practise if they want to catch criminals but did not work.
They then for some reason wanted to walk us back to the car, an "escort" as it were, crazy russians, then shook my hand a lot said "enjoy mother russia" I was like yea, got a photo of me and the two security guards but pretty poor quality which is a shame. ~ [url= Russlan drove us home in his "ride", we'd met up with my parents so they accepted the offer apart from my mums blood pressure hit dangerous levels after seeing the windscreen and having no seatbelt!!
haha what a day, tommorrow we're going to church and the russian circus! *cheer*

Maly Goes To The Motherland Ep 5

By Lawrence Benedict 'Malystryx' Phillips
Aug 5, 2007 10:46

Although the trip is already over I still have notes from each day as well as photos so due to pressure from my brother amongst others to finish all the episodes I shall continue the tales of the Motherland!
All previous photos as well as some extra ones (all taken with my mobile phone so sorry for bad quality) are viewable in the ***]Malystryx's Motherland Gallery[/url]!***
After spotting a "beach" while travelling home on the Metro the day before we organised a trip to visit it in the morning, there was a small "beach" but the area was mostly taken up by rides. Rides that had a safety rating of 0, some of the rides were rusty, there was a bungee jump with safety belts and harnesses that looked as if celetape was the only thing keeping them together. The main task of the time spent there is trying to manage Sophia (my niece) who once has gone on one ride will swiftly notice another which she will want to go on with the possibility of tears if it does not happen. What I personally get fed up with is age limits on rides. Bouncey castles? I mean who does not love a bouncy castle but yet only small children can go on it? Are adults not safe enough? Sophia had a good go on the bouncey castle while I just kept myself amused watching a little boy go round on one of those electric bikes.
The bikes are like tiny cars or motorbikes and little kids can drive about on them paying for like 5 minutes at a time. The boys mother was obviously into fashion with a deranged haircut and highheels and when the boy asked to go on the bike and she said no he burst into tears, so of course she pays for him to go on the bike for 5 minutes. Up and down the street he goes, then the 5 minutes are up and the russian worker guides him back, he gets off then the kid starts crying again. The mother then pays for another 5 minutes and continues her cigarette, then same again he returns and starts crying again. You can't win with small children :(
Aside from the dodgy rides the beachside area was really nice, very relaxing with a good view of the River Ob and the blue sky. We swiftly ended the walk on the promenade to go for lunch at "the best chinese restaurant in Novisibirsk" according to my brother who had been recommended by a friend, the restaurant itself was acutely named "Mao". There is a trend in Russia that all the best places seem to always be underground, the restaurant lived up to its reputation however and I was well full on beef, chicken and pork. ~ Sophia & the Dragon
After was an organised visit to see 3 girls, 2 russian & 1 dutch who help organise events for my brothers church. Sophia did not seem too bothered by the girls since she remembered they have a kitten who immediately seeing us bolted behind the couch. Sophia was then sticking her head behind the couch attempting to attract its attention by shouting at it o_O ~ [url=
After a polite social meeting which normally are required in family visits, we went home to relax and for the children to sleep. brief social meetings are always required but what purpose do they really serve? Its a brief "hello", my dad asks "do you study" or more questions depending on how good looking the girl is. One of the girls we met looked more terrified that then cat, I think the prospect of meeting English people must be quite scary for Russians, like some other lifeform they have heard of but never seen, expecting some 6 eyed green alien that drinks cups of tea.
The evening was taken up with a game of Scrabble, a British word game where you are given 7 letters randomly and have to attempt to make words on a board putting each letter on a different square. Some squares have "double word score" or "double letter" score with letters more rare such as "x", "z" or "q" worth more points. Despite playing in Italy before coming and getting the word "sex" on a triple word score (*flex*), my competitive nature was overcome by my brothers overwhelming large brain from reading all his church books and I unfortunately finished 2nd. Although he was playing in a team with his wife which I named "Team Russia" instead of referring to them by their real names, most advice from his Russian wife was ignored with a better word already planned out.
Tomorrow was the "summer house" part 2, visiting the infamous aunt and uncle again, I went to bed early to get some sleep ready for the next ordeal.
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