We arrived at the compound, took a moment to drop our bags and groceries (I later wished I had picked up more in the way of food: long bus-rides really call out for snacks, don’t they?) and head to the dining hall for dinner. If I remember correctly….we had pork. I believe it may have been a large hunk of pork. Yes, just what my veggie eyes wanted to see. So, yogurt and mashed potatoes it was, with tea and bottled water, secure in the knowledge that I had food waiting for me back in the room.
After dinner, I thought it wise to recharge my mobile phone. Yes, I had brought it with me. It serves as my alarm clock and my mp3 player, so I left the phone itself inactive, and only turned on the necessary portions (something I am thrilled that my phone allows me to do). I went to my backpack to grab my phone and…it wasn’t there. Gone. Earphones: gone. No sign of it. I tore my bag apart: nothing. My garment bag with all my costumes: nothing. I walked out to the lobby where the “boys” had settled in for a night of beer: “Jim, my phone is gone.” He came to my room, we tore my bags apart, again: still nothing. We knew I had had it that morning, because I had used it to send a text message to Jon asking him to call the Glengarry and Navan studios, so that the parents of all the dancers could be contacted to let them know all was well: we had positively no access to landlines by which to contact people. But by the evening, my phone was missing. The only explanation we could think of – as all the girls said they had not seen it – was that it had been nicked. I borrowed Heather’s mobile and sent Jon a text telling him I thought it had been stolen, but that I’d get back to him in a few hours after more looking. Then I sat, knit on the scarf for a bit, and quietly fell apart, briefly. I was exhausted, I was terribly, terribly ill, and my mobile was gone. And with Jon out of work, there was little way of replacing it.
A short while later, I grabbed the one, incredibly large, bottle of Russian beer I had purchased that day at the grocery store, walked out to the lobby, held it out to the guys (I didn’t have a bottle opener, and it required one) and said “I need a drink”. Chuckles all around, and a moment later I was seated on the floor at Heather’s feet, pleasantly drinking my beer.
It was an enjoyable, if rather crazy, night. A while later, Heather and I determined that we needed some vodka, and wandered over to the bar to purchase a bottle, some Coke and some juice for mixing, and the night improved from there. It had been determined that it was in our collective best interest for us to travel not in the pairs as we had originally thought, but in groups of four or five. This was due to some overzealousness on the part of a few of the men from some of the other countries. So in our packs of girls we headed out to the disco for some dancing. We had a great time, and turned in at a respectable hour, happily aware that the next morning was not as early as the last two had been, and that it would be performance-free!
What joy, to awake less than 2 hours before breakfast, shower, dress, and NOT french braid our hair!! Breakfast was…not served to us. For some reason, the staff refused to serve our table. Yogurt and rye all around!
As we were gathering up our cameras and passports for the day’s excursion, one of the girls from Glengarry enters my room and asks “Is this your phone?” And yes, it was!! It was a brilliant start to a very good morning.
Into Moscow we drove on our buses for a tourist-y visit to….the Kremlin!! For the duration of our trip we had been cloistered: in the compound, on our buses, in our fenced backstage areas. The opportunity to walk outside and visit one of the most notable, most historically significant and most beautiful areas of Moscow was very very welcome.
::And my mum just invited us over for dinner! The Kremlin was so awesome, in the truest sense of the word, that it really does deserve its own, picture-heavy post. I’ll try to have that up within the next day or so.