Firstly, apologies for not posting sooner, the last two weeks have sped by. Far too much has happened to tell everything so I’ll write about the highlights.

For the past two weekends we have explored the varied nightlife of Tyumen. Our first club was ‘Gorky’, and we happened to go on their ‘dirty dancing’ night, oh boy. I didn’t actually realise that this event was taking place until a bunch of strippers started getting their kit off on stage (see club pictures for proof: http://anrelax.com/files/gallery/2383gorky1509_2012photo/060.jpg ) and yep, they were all pretty bloody disgusting. The actual club was good fun and as we are the only foriengers for 500km we were given free VIP passes and a bottle of disgusting Russian Champagne, lucky us! The highlight of my clubbing experience in Tyumen so far, however, has been watching how Russian men dance (no homo). Comparing them to Gorillas on heat is probably a better description. It seems, unlike in England, the quicker and more vigorously one moves, the better. For example, in one club we went to the Russian man who was jumping the highest and waving his hands the most had the most girls around him. Watch out ladies, I’ll be bringing this type of dancing back to Bristol…

The Monday after we went to Gorky Club, still slightly hungover, we were taken to see the University ‘Prorektor’- the equivalent of a Deputy Vice-chancellor in UK Universities. The people who were looking after us failed to mention this until 5 minutes beforehand so, looking slightly dishevelled and in some badass tracksuit bottoms, I set off to see one of the most serious men in the world. Not only did we meet half of the University’s management, but a photographer and press officer were there. For half an hour we chatted about the differences in the Universities (eg. in one people study a variety of topics, in the other the only degree is Oil and Gas…) and had our photos taken. 2 days later, we were big news in the University: http://www.tsogu.ru/news/university/obmen-jazykoznaniem/

Life in the Hostel is progressing: I still don’t have proper internet after a month (still using Hussein’s), Iona has a mouse in her room and Charlie is still afraid to ask his Chechen roommate about politics. Our lessons are comprised of grammar, comprehension and pronunciation. According to our teachers our Russian accent is so bad that almost every word is incomprehensible. Hence, during the lessons we spend much of our time shouting one word ten times over with differing stresses, none of which is apparently correct. 

The following weekend we went to an event situated 30 miles from Tyumen, where it turned out we were to perform in front of 200 people. We were part of ‘Interklub’, a University society comprised of foreigners that we were forced to join (the vast majority of which are from Tajikistan…), and as English we were the main attraction. We were all supposed to catch the bus at 9am on the Sunday morning, a time we felt was optimistic to say the least and, surprise surprise, Charlie and I both missed it. Horrifically hungover we managed to arrive at the place 3 hours late.

Nevertheless, we took part in the show and came Second. Charlie told a terrible joke that got far too many laughs and I played Wonderwall on the guitar whilst Iona sang. After the show had finished the three of us were mobbed by throngs of girls asking to have their picture taken with us. As Andy Warhol famously said, ‘everyone will have 15 minutes of fame’ – this was ours, and it was bloody awkward.

 Continuing the update on how Charlie and I are progressing on our quest for a Russian girlfriend: We have met a lot of girls. Girls here are much more forward and yet much more traditional than girls in England and it has taken us a bit by surprise, however the tricky part is narrowing down. Both Charlie and I currently have a favourite so we shall see. It is a far cry from Bristol… 


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