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Fun at the Beer Factory

Written on: Saturday March 22nd, 2008

A journal entry from: B Poccuu

Hello!

On Sunday we went to "Zapovyednik," but I didn't like it as much as "the Cherry Orchard." A lot of it happened inside his head and it was hard to follow.

On Monday I sent off a bunch of postcards. I had to lick 120 stamps because Russia is stupid and the lady was feeling vindictive. I also bought a tiny copy of the Little Mermaid in Russian for 7 rubles, which is awesome.

On Tuesday we had our meeting after classes. We're doing oral presentations in a cemetary as our big project and we had to pick a famous person (mine is Goncharov) who's buried there. We have to give 10 min presentations on them in English (Jessica wants everyone to understand everything) but all of our research has to be in Russian. Then we have to say a quote or something from the person (or about the person) in Russian, and explain it in English to everyone. This week we're also doing midsemester checks. That night I went to citi bar with friends to use the internet.

And on Wednesday - dun dun dun - the Baltika factory tour! Holy crap, it was awesome. The bus took us from the very last stop on the blue line (aka the boonies) to the factory. Bonus ? the drink machine gave change in 10 ruble coins, so I now have some of those most-coveted souveniers. (one for you Laura, woo!) The tour was great. The tour guide explained how they brew the beer and the history of Baltika. We went through the warehouse where they keep the beer in these massive tanks for like 3 weeks before they bottle it (or something like that, the tour was in Russian). She said that «if one person wanted to drink all the beer in that room, at the 'government-recommended' rate of .5 liters a day, it would take over 3000 years.» Not kidding.

We saw the Baltika control room (it looked like the one in Jurassic Park), as well as the bottling areas and warehouses. They make their own plastic bottles, and the bottles are kind blown out and expand from test tube size. It was kind of like being on the show «How It's Made». They also let us taste every beer they make (don't worry mom, there were 14 beers to be shared among 6 people). They also gave us free beer mugs at the end, which was awesome. I bought a present for some people in the gift shop, but I don't want to say what it was in case they read this. We kept joking that we were going to see Oompa Loompas at any moment, like the Family Guy episode about the Beer factory. Also, there were a ridiculous amount of cars outside, but we hardly saw any workers, so we decided there were slave drivers in the basement whipping people on bikes to provide the energy to make the factory run. One wrong turn off the tour, and whoops! Big surprise.
After the factory we went to a Mexican restaurant that Zach found. They have burritos that weigh a pound, and they were delicious. Last night I came home early after that and did homework.

Thursday morning when I woke up I felt worse than I have in the past week of having a cold, so I stayed home and slept till noon. I feel a lot better now, and I've finished all my homeowrk. I also read 6 chapters of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in Russian. It's surprisingly easy and fast, although I think this might be because I've read the English version so many times that I already know what's happening. Either way, it's good practice.

Friday I went back to school. After school I went to the Marble Palace with my tutor. It was really cool-- Catherine the Great built it for one of her lovers. We saw some really cool/creepy exhibits. One artist, Alexander Timofeev, was decidedly the creepist. Here, look:

http://www.rusmuseum.ru/eng/exhibitions/?id=540&i=0&year=2008&pic=3

http://www.rusmuseum.ru/eng/exhibitions/?id=540&i=0&year=2008&pic=4

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After the Marble Palace I went home. It took a long time and it was cold, which sucked. I didn't go anywhere last night--I watched Becoming Jane, the Russian DVD that I bought for 6 dollars, instead.

Today I went to Kseniya's apartment to interview her host family (look at me being productive) and then I walked from there to Citi Bar, which took about an hour, but was pretty and awesome so it's ok. I walked through the park behind Peter and Paul Fortress and then over the bridge to where the Summer Gardens are. It was really fun. I took like a thousand pictures.

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Now we're just chilling in Citi Bar. I ran into a bunch of friends, which is cool. No exciting plans coming up, except the Ballet this week.

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Poka!

 

From Laura on Mar 27th, 2008

yay! Thanks Kate :) I'm so jealous of your Baltika tour!