It has been quite a surreal week and half- full of ups and downs and a real spectrum of emotions. In this post I shall talk about the two most memorable parts of the week and a half (not sure as of yet if they’re highlights or lowlights though), ‘Nefteparty’ and ‘Iskra’.

‘Нефтипарты’ (Neftiparty) is a twice yearly student night organised by the University. Despite being told by numerous people that it wouldn’t be a good night, we decided to go.

We hadn’t been out properly in two weeks, the Hostel was rapidly becoming a prison and cabin fever was definitely starting to set in. Utterly bored of the same, tedious meals (think poor quality sausage, eggs and pasta in a variety of terrible combinations) and the same scenery, we all got far too excited and decided to buy a large bottle of vodka. We may have drank a little too much…

I woke up the next day and had absolutely no memory of the night.

Comparing the night to The Hangover is probably quite fair: Numerous people have since added me on V Kontakte (Russian Facebook), rang me and, far more embarrassingly, stopped me in the street and had a chat. Normal behaviour I agree, however, I have absolutely no idea who these people are. One guy asked me when we will go bungee jumping together. Another asked me when am I going to invite him to Manchester.

2pm the day after the party Rob woke me up, ‘What happened?!’, he had no idea either, nor did Charlie or Iona. I woke up to discover a number of strange things. Firstly, for some reason we had decided to cook a pan of tomatoes, yet we didn’t eat it. My coat had a large mud patch on the back, as did my jeans (still no idea how or why). At least I had my coat though… Charlie woke up without his coat and, of course, his memory of when he lost had it. In utter bits the next day he managed to call a taxi (ridiculously hard to do here) and go back to the club. Sadly there was no sign of a jacket and so the ‘mystery of Charlie’s jacket’ continues…

The picture which, for me, sums up the night is one of Charlie. Dishevelled, vodka stains on his T-shirt and yet utterly triumphant, for some reason he has forbidden me from putting this photo on here…

The second ‘highlight’ since the last post was ‘Iskra’, a youth club. What went on in the hour whilst we were there still hasn’t sunk in. To set the scene: It’s 7pm Friday night; tired, hungry and grumpy (I get very grumpy when I don’t eat), we arrived at a concrete monolith of Soviet Architecture. About 20 of us sat in a large circle, then a man started playing the guitar – desperately trying not to burst out laughing, I started to become worried that we had joined a Soviet youth movement. I wasn’t too far off the truth.

After introducing ourselves and after I, once again, had to play the bloody guitar, we had to talk about how we ‘share energy’. After understanding next to nothing, we had to play charades in groups (see video for Charlie being a hoover LOL). It was an utterly absurd, surreal experience, and I can safely say that I will never go back.

In other news I think that Charlie is soon going to be enlisted into the Chechen army after deep talks with a soldier from Chechnya. Iona has been ridiculously cultural – she saw two ballets in two days and Rob celebrated his 21st birthday last night – details of which to come in next week’s blog.

The most disgusting looking meal ever?:

And it snowed here too, winter is coming… It’s not normally as grim as this picture I promise.


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