Posted by: rusch | May 30, 2007

From Russia with love

Last night my brother observed that if he did not speak Russian, he was not sure if he would survive being a tourist in Moscow.  I find this interesting because during Soviet rule, there were thousands, if not millions of native speakers who were not able to survive period. 

For example, the ballet. 

For those who culturally live under a rock, Russia is famous for its’ ballet companies.  Among them one of the most renouned is the Bolshoy who we went to see last night.

Now if we were in America, purchasing tickets and picking them up at the show would be so easy that even a French person could do it.  You purchase them online and then either print them out at your house, or, pick them up at a “will call” window the night of the show.  You would think that this would be the way it would be anyplace else.  Not so!!!

Lennin, Stalin, and Kruzchev, all would be proud of how hard it is to purchase your tickets and pick them up at the show.  They would be smiling with glee because seeing something so decadent as a ballet was next to impossible. 

First of all, there is no “will call” window at the theatre, and no one tells you this until after you have survived a harrowing ride on the metro. The will call window is blocks away at a metro station of all places.

Now if you happen to find the afore mentioned metro station, that does not necessarilly mean that you will get your tickets and be bored for the next two and a half hours.  You must have a special code, proper identification, and be able to prove, via a DNA sample, that you are in fact the person who purchased the tickets and are now trying to pick them up.

While throughouly fluent in Russian brother Jon survived this perilous process, there were some Canadian tourists, they all have little Canadian flags sowed on their backpacks, who did not.

While I feel bad that they were not able to get what they paid for, my money would have been better spent elsewhere.  I slept through the first one and a half acts before watching the final act, which was a Jewish version of the “Exorcist” as adapted for the ballet. 

I am thankful that I was awake for that because it was a blessing to partake in something so weird.

More to come….. 


  1. Oh I’m so jealous …

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