Russia, March 8, 1999
How much fun a room full of expats can have on a Thursday night
|We agreed to meet at 7:30 pm, but I knew her history of
tardiness, so I told her to be there by 7:35 pm or I was leaving. I
arrived at Kraznoprenskaya at 7:45 pm, half expecting her to arrive
after me. She was on time, and she had already left, thinking I was on
time and didn't wait. Amazing! So, I walked to Planet Hollywood alone.
Yes Planet Hollywood, but before you hold it against me, it was my first time, ever, to any Planet Hollywood. I swear! We were there under the auspices of Expat Night, where all of the lame-o expats without enough friends or enough of a life, can gather and lament on how un-cool Russia has become. Of course I was there just for research, to see what other expats are like, not because I didn't have something better to do, like my 98 taxes or anything. Hey, I do have a life, no matter how much I have to grovel or beg to maintain it!
Anyway, I walked there eating an ice cream cone, in -20 C weather, happy that I didn't have to wait for the woman. I wandered into the room of expats and saw my friends. Well, if you can call lawyers friends, they were there. There was annE, my good friend and my inviter to this evening of foreigners. Harleen, who is going to medical school here (I still haven't figured that one out!). An ex-US military spy, an ex-Poland PCV, and a few other people who I met after too many free glasses of cheap wine to remember coherently.
We made the usual small talk, then the inevitable happened. Once we all were introduced to Marriann (that's how you spell her name!), name association had us singing the Giligan's Island theme song, or trying to anyway. I think we collectively remembered most of the song, but no matter, the worst was to come. We degenerated into singing the Beverly Hillbilly's song, which I remembered way too accurately, and of course, the Brady Bunch song.
What a night of expat fun! As much as I like to rail against the insular Americans here who mix with the locals only when required, it was good to be in a little Americana for a while. We even traded business cards! I, in a bid to maintain my hippie roots, handed out metro cards with my email and web address. I felt so hippie-tech/modern, mixing funk, recycling, and high tech. Hmm, maybe there is a business opportunity there?