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Since the last post there have been, as usual, a considerable amount of fun moments and the odd awkward moment. On Saturday 13th we celebrated Rob’s 21st Birthday at ‘Coyote Club’- a club loosely based on the film Coyote Ugly. The only actual similarity to the film is that girls danced on the bar whilst the men stared gormlessly at them. Standard Tyumen.

The night started well: we invited a couple of girls we had met to join in the celebrations and began by pre-lashing in classic Russian fashion on vodka (when in Rome). The club was, of course, great fun after the vodka and proved to be a good place to finally get somewhere with a girl. As is usually the case, the Dutch courage needed to muster a move proved to be both mine and Charlie’s downfall. Again.

Iona took Rob back at half 3 after he celebrated a little too much in the loos. I set about about trying to charm Anastasia whilst Charlie flirted with every other girl in the club. Charlie can’t remember exactly what time he left and I can’t remember leaving…

The next day we didn’t feel so fresh, however, a successful night all round and the buds of romance finally starting to blossom for Maccers and T-dog…?

On Monday we had a toned-down celebration for Rob’s actual 21st. After hearing of a  place in Tyumen that did Indian food, we set off for ‘Buddha Bar’. To say that it did Indian food was the overstatement of the century: in the menu there were pages of sushi dishes, and one ‘Indian sushi roll’- aka a deep-fried sushi roll. That Rogan Josh is going to have to wait… Even calling it a Bar was outrageous, we were the only people in the place (I think they actually forgot we were there at one point- turning off the music halfway through our meal). Adding insult to injury, after asking for a second beer each the waitress informed us that were only two bottles left in the entire Bar. Wow.

Despite the lack of everything we set out for, the sushi was decent and we had a good time. The rest of the week flew past in a blur of meetings, dates and lessons.

On Saturday 20th we were invited to the local football match, FC Tyumen versus Dynamo Kirov. The level of football on show was hilarious. It really was sinfully bad. Despite having not played football in three years, I genuinely back myself to start next match at centre forward. I’ll update you on how that one goes…

The level of football was not the only unusual thing: The stadium is a massive, brand-new structure and yet only a quarter of it was occupied; There were also as many police officers as supporters- from walking into the stadium to sitting down we were bodily searched on three separate occasions. All very strange.

There were a lot more people in the crowd I promise:

On Sunday we left the lights, glamour and razzmatazz of Tyumen City Centre to go to the ‘Hot Springs’ in the countryside. However, none of us had swim trunks, and none of the shops in Tyumen sell respectable, non-paedophile swim shorts. Thus, we Speedo-ed up, and did so in style. In my opinion (and I’m sure the opinion of anyone who saw us), the 3 identical, mid-blue banana hammocks made us look like a world-class water polo team on tour from the Caribbean. Needless to say I’m joking, however, we all agreed that Speedos are both liberating and aerodynamic- they may very well return to England with us. (winky face ladies LOL). The Springs were actually very relaxing, despite turning us all an Essex level of orange from the iron in the water.

One of the gayest pictures of all time, greatly helped by how limp Mccloy’s salute is…

After the Hot Springs, I had arranged to meet up with Anastasia again (the girl who was posted on my Facebook wall so kindly by Charlie and Iona…). At 9pm we were going to go for a walk and go to a cafe.

At 9 I waited by the agreed spot. And waited. And waited.

I could’t believe it. Had I, Thomas James Reynolds, International Playboy and Man of Mystery, been stood up?! How was it possible?! I returned to the Hostel a shell of a man, mystified, (perhaps a tad more modest) and waiting for a valid explanation.

The valid explanation never arrived… Her reasoning for not turning up..? She had been cleaning her carpet and lost track of time. CLEANING HER CARPET?! Unless she lived in the Palace of Versailles I can’t think of a carpet that would take longer than 10 minutes to clean. It was, without doubt, the worst excuse I have ever heard of. Back to square one then…

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