Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lost in the Great Moscow Circus


There were four of us, or maybe five, who braved the streets of Moscow one evening for a visit to the Circus.

Braved is hardly the correct word, as we were hunting in a pack, and therefore unlikely to fall victim to one of the marauding police officer's foreign currency extortion plots, but we still hadn't quite mastered the cyrillic alphabet, so reading signs was problematic to say the least.

Anyway, we found the place by dint of well honed navigation skills and a bit of luck, and not quite understanding what to do next, waited with the assembled throng.

Not having an understanding of any of the letters in the cyrilic alphabet and travelling without an interpreter meant that we were a little challenged when it came to finding our seats, or for that matter actually finding a door which looked as though it would lead to our seats.

In times like these we have a well rehearsed practice of following someone who looks as though they know where they are going, and in the theatre context, we decided to follow the crowd as soon as the doors were opened.

The seething mass of humanity containing ourselves, flowed into the building and purposefully wheeled left, then right, then right again. These were people who knew where they were going, and were in a hurry to get there.

We were smugly congratulating ourselves on our street-smart wisdom, as we all to a person would instinctively have turned left and continued up the stairs, but the crowd knew better obviously.

What we couldn't have known, was that the crowd it seemed, had spent the few hours before the show crowding in the bars in the area, and the bars in the area were obviously devoid of what we would call euphamistically "conveniences". When the doors to the theatre opened, the rush was not to take their seats, but to find some physical comfort from the restrooms located under the theatre seating tiers.

Eventually we managed to swim against the tide, and found the entrance we were looking for, wondering ever since how so many people could possibly ever be contained in one small cubicle.

Note to file, in Moscow, not everyone is going where you want to go, which should have been obvious in a city where even the pedestrian crossings lead mereley to the middle of another street.

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