Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wednesday already?

Wow, what happened? a couple of minutes ago it was Saturday....

So, Sunday, and the Kiev Hash. Due to start at 2, and I thought I would be back in time for the opera, but....People only started drifting in at 2 pm... took till about 2.45 to get going; then a long way with the underground, started running about 3.30 - 3 people ran, including myself, the other about 27 walked, very slowly....

Then there was a shashlik, way out in the woods. Of course shashliks take forever to get going, too - first you need to burn the wood down to cinders. The down-down also took ages... at 5.30 the beer had run out, so I took a lift to the nearest village to get some beer. Thought I would get a taxi from there, but no taxis to be had. Back into the forest for plan B, to call a taxi to pick me up from someone's granny's house. Plan B failed - no taxis on that side of the river. Sooooo, another foreigner and I got fed up and walked with a young Ukrainian couple to the street, to hitch back....luckily we found a marshrutka which took as along a long, bumpy road (after all that beer) to the metro station, from there home on the metro, belted out from the metro to the flat, changed clothes and rushed to the opera - and caught the second and third act. Manon Lescaut. I am not the greatest Puccini fan, but there we are. My friend with the opera glasses told me that Manon was sung by a well middle-aged lady. The performance was very traditional. There were lots of people in the audience, all wearing some orange - a political fundraiser? No, it was a crowd of friends from the US whose dress code it was for the evening. Whatever turns people on.

Interesting the lady selling the drinks in the interval. Both intervals we were ripped off, either by being short-changed or by being overcharged. 'Tis the lady on the ground floor on the left side of the auditorium. Obviously foreigners have a purpose in life, for her.

Next few days at work. Tuesday night a concert in the Filharmonija with the Lisenko string quartet (the state string quartet) and a Japanese pianist, Daisuke Tori, playing Mozart string quartets, piano quartet and a piano concerto. It was 'all right' - nothing to set the heather alight. Elderly quartet, no fire, and not much inspiration either. Felt a bit sorry for the pianist. Might have left after the first half, if I had not had friends with me.

In the meantime Hungary is rioting, exactly 50 years after the Hungarian revolution, such as it was. Due to a rather dim prime minister. Will he go? Thailand seems to have had a bloodless coup while the prime minister was out of the country. Will corrupt potentates of small states ever learn that they cannot afford to leave the country if they want to stay in power? Pope seems to now also have insulted the Jews.