End of August was spent reading/writing about several Shakespeare plays. I went for some walks around my neighborhood and read (again, Shakespeare) in the park by my house. My younger cousin, Sonya, introduced me to her friends—now my friends too. We went swimming and spent the weekend at a friend’s dacha.
Early September activities were put on hold because I pulled my back, trying to get my seat post into my frame. I went to IKEA to load up on hangers and storage accessories. First time biking in SPB city traffic. Let my friend try this weird “fixed-gear” thing. Did the whole job search, interview thing.
A friend did the plumbing and electrical work for installing a new washer in our apartment, for free. Unbeknown to my grandma, we, along with another dude friend, went out drinking the night before he finished the installation. We bough vodka and juice and my friends thought it might be too conspicuous to sit outside and mix it in plastic cups—how it’s usually done in Russia. Here, my USA party time skills came in handy—“Just mix it in the juice bottle; everyone will think we’re drinking juice!” My friends liked this novel idea. So we took our juice bottle on Nevsky Prospekt, the main street in the city.
This is when “the incident” happened. The three of us were standing at a crosswalk and as a group of guys walked by; I turned around and did a quick ass-grab. So, I’ll admit that this isn’t the first time I’ve committed the offense (e.g. Skoal Kodiak @ Art O’Whirl 2009). All fun and games, right? The guy turned around and did the gruff Russian equivalent of “Excuse me?!” He’d thought that one of the guys had done it—which meant a fight. When I saw my friend’s alarmed face, I fessed up. The guy looked a mix between dumbfounded and skeptical so I had to explain that I did it just for fun. This got me an insistent invite to “trade up” to his company if my friends weren’t “man enough”. I politely turned down what I think was the offer for a potential gang bang. Then we went to my handyman friend’s house and after putting him to bed proceeded to go to an all night sushi café where we talked about male culture in Russia, but that’s a topic for later.
The lesson learned here? None for me, thanks.