Thursday, 18 September 2014

Traditional post-ballet clubbing

I apologise most profoundly for the lack of blog update on Tuesday! Unfortunately, I had had a rather tough day at work and decided that going to the pub, then organising a Spanish lesson and learning to play poker with pasta in one night would leave me time for blog-writing. Evidently, it didn’t. The bad news is that I have not done anything particularly photo-worthy in the past week, so most of this entry will be text-based. Feel free to close this now.

A picture of a theatre to keep you sweet.

On Friday, we went to the ballet! One of our colleagues emailed around to see who wanted to spend about £4 for an almost front-row seat at a performance of Swan Lake. Of course, we all paid up, dressed up and went. Everyone was wetting themselves with excitement to get to the weekend.

First of all we went to a restaurant not far from the theatre. We had kebab meat with a tomato sauce and lumps of sticky bread and a side of sour cream; again it probably has a proper name but it has slipped my mind. It was utterly fabulous, especially when accompanied with chips and ketchup. No meal can be made worse with chips and ketchup, let’s face it. As there were thirteen or so of us, the restaurant found us a special secret room with its own table and we all felt like film stars.

We enjoyed the meal so much that we ended up being about twenty minutes late for the ballet. The good part was that we timed it exactly to arrive during a particularly loud piece (I can’t remember its name, but it does go “DUN DUN DUN DUN-DIDDLE-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN” so any fans of Tchaikovsky will know what I’m on about, of course). We faffed around for a little while and then snuck onto the back row for the rest of the first half, which was fine and cosy until one man, who had fallen asleep, woke up with a terrified ‘yelp’ and caused a few of us to cry a little bit due to surpressed giggles. Giggles are infectious anyway, but during an emotional ballet scene, they seem to last a lot longer than is really appropriate.

This is just some ballet, this isn't when we got the giggles.

The ballet itself was fairly enjoyable – it wasn’t quite the same as the ballet that we saw in Petrozavodsk two years ago, but it was certainly a hell of a lot better than I could have done.

After the ballet, we did of course go to the pub. We visited that typical Uzbek establishment renowned all over the world: The Irish Pub. No capital city is complete without at least one ‘Irish pub,’ and Tashkent is no exception. We had a couple of beers, chips and some almonds. That should have been it, but when one is surrounded by graduates of the University of Sheffield, someone will always suggest continuing the evening somewhere. Luckily, one of our friends from Tashkent knows the best places to go, and we ended up somewhere pretty interesting (but my camera had run out of battery by this point, so you will have to picture it in your head using the power of reading).

We got out of the taxi/car that some man was driving in front of a building that looked like a lot of closed offices. If there was one thing that we had definitely not wandered into, it was the ‘strip’ of Tashkent. It was silent and there was no one around, although, as anyone who has seen my photos would already know, that is not exactly unusual over here. We went over to a door that was guarded by a couple of men who assured us that there was something to do inside this mysterious building, and indeed there was. A band played all of the songs that you would expect to hear in a mainstream club in the UK but so much more. They went from Pharrell Williams to Rammstein, everyone dancing like they had not been at work all day. We met some Uzbek and Turkish people who were lovely and whose only flaw was that, when they bought me a glass of water, it was fizzy.

The next day was a little difficult, especially as I had not been back to my house in about 21 hours, but a difficult day is a small price to pay for Swan Lake and an entertaining night out.

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