People! I met PEOPLE!
I stayed out all night last night. Not in any particularly exciting way, but rather in more of a "Oh no! It's 1 am! The bridges are closed, the subway's no longer running and the door of my dorm is locked! Curse you, deceptive lighting in high northern latitudes!" kind of way. I was with a group of students I met from the University of Kansas-- or rather, I pounced upon a girl I vaguely recognised from school here in the bathroom of the Internet cafe, and then we ended up talking in the bar there for a few hours, frantically chainsmoking (hhhgah) and discussing skin care, Russian literature and the need for a revolution (though preferably one that doesn't involve us having to give up our cushy lifestyles. She's a delightful girl and it was indeed truly lovely to sit around and have pretentious discussions with her. We went to meet some of her other friends at Propaganda, a bar near Nevsky. They were a nice group-- three boys, Connor, Simon and Dave. We ended up wandering around, then Amanda got in touch with her friend Olesia and we ended up at a party on a boat. It was quite chill, nothing too special. Good music and such. I mostly sat on a couch and watched the spastic dancing-- one couple was flaunting their stuff at the railing of the boat, calling out to the crowd and doing moves that looked like they'd been carefully choreographed in some little room. They actually managed to succeed in looking normal in this, because of the simple fact that they were breath-takingly beautiful. Unfortunately, though, they were joined by a middleaged couple with bizarrely matching hairdos, she in skintight (I'm talking OBSCENE) hot pink with cartoon patterns, he in full-on black leather. They were smokin'. And they knew it too-- even went so far as to shout the word a couple times while doing their takes on the most egregious of Richard Simmons' routines.
The top of the boat was stunningly gorgeous-- sunset over the Neva at around midnight, with a fireworks display over by Peter-Paul Fortress. We got to see the bridges open to allow the boats to go through at around one. There was bizarre twilight for a few hours, then about an hour of darkness at some point. We walked up and down Nevsky, looking for an appealing place to eat, which proved strangely difficult. Finally ended up back at Propaganda, where we paid 380 rubles (around $15) for tea, 5 mozzarella sticks and 3 cherry dumplings with sour cream. Terrible. Wandered around some more, marvelling at the fact that it was actually dark and counting down the hours until the Metro / my dorm opened, and then Simon, Amanda and I ended up at Ili, an all night coffee bar, where we marvelled at the surreal thinness of Russian girls and the thuggishness of their boyfriends. The girls are surreal, particularly the fashionable ones. I had never understood what was meant by a handspan waist until I saw them. Their thighs are easily the size of my arms, but they somehow manage to not look sickly. Obviously, overbleached hair and drag queen makeup abound (which fact I am quite enjoying-- I'm currently rocking bright blue eyeshadow and red lipstick because it's fun to wear and nobody's turned an eye.).
So 5:45 came around. I was slurring my words out of tiredness at that point, but as we headed to the Metro it was all I could do to not break into a happy dance at the thought of my bed. We parted, rather abruptly, and scurried off our separate ways, and then i was trapped by the PDA Couple From Heck. He had a full handful of her butt and his other hand was planted on her side, moving in a rather suspicious manner, and she had her groin planted against his and was grinding against him. Her friend was standing to the side, looking at them with a look of utter desolation. I even saw a chin quiver or two. He didn't actually get on the train with us-- apparently this was a heartwrenching farewell, since they gazed at each other through the door until the train took off, whereupon she bounced over to her friend and hugged her. I think she caught a couple of the looks of disgust I gave her... not because of the PDA, but because she was too ugly to be vertically dry-humping her boyfriend when I'm grumpy and haven't slept. Turns out she lives in my dorm... poor girl gave me a terrified look in the elevator. I think she thought i was stalking her.
Out of time... more later