Saturday, October 5, 2013

Settling In... and Годкий Койот

It's been a few days since my last post, and now there are a thousand things I could write about, so I will just write what comes to mind. Get used to the stream of consciousness process...

The weather has turned nice, but cold. We had our first snowfall on Friday! But it didn't stick. It will stick soon enough. I've already invested about $400 on cold weather gear so I'm almost ready for a Siberian winter. Apparently my idea of a winter jacket is considered an autumn jacket around here, so now I am the proud owner of a giant, down, black snowboarding jacket. Also, I found some boots good enough for -15 Celsius for a decent price, but my new Russian friends made me spend an extra 2000 rubles for the boots that are good for -30. I suppose I'll be glad on those nights when it is -30 (or -50) out, but it's hurting my wallet.

Speaking of new Russian friends, I find myself being more popular than I have ever been before. For the first time in my life I am finding it difficult to engage with all of the people who want to engage with me. It's so easy to make friends that it is becoming a moral hazard. But I must remember to be kind, courteous, and fair in my relations with strangers and friends alike. At the same time, I need to remember to leave some space for myself. Today is Sunday, and I am taking this day to rest and relax in my own space.

Of course, I always appreciate a surprise visit from my host, Valery Molostov, who looks after me as if I were his son and who today brought me breakfast and, as always, good cheer. He is a former doctor who is now a professor in my department. It's nice to have someone who looks after me, especially as my personal cooking skills are severely lacking. 

Work in general hasn't quite hit full swing yet. This week I gave the same presentation about my hometown 6 or 7 times, each time to a different class of varying abilities. Some of the students struggled to introduce themselves and talk about things they like to do, while authors spoke fluently about history and cultural differences. It's going to be a challenge to accommodate both types of students in each class.

Ok, now for the good stuff. This Friday I decided I should go to the club, just to see what a Russian club is all about. When I was in St. Petersburg two years ago I didn't go out very much, but if I'm going to be here for 9 months I figure I better get accustomed to "the scene." So I agreed to meet up with Alla at the club Годкий койот (ugly coyote, or, rather, coyote ugly).

Let me just say that I have never seen the movie Coyote Ugly and have never been to any Coyote Ugly bars. I knew it was movie but I didn't know it was an actual, American, bar chain (I guess I really am from a village). But apparently it's the newest, coolest club in Novosibirsk. In fact, this past weekend was the one year anniversary of the club's opening in Novosibirsk. So they were having a pretty schnazzy party.

Another cool thing about bars in Novosibirsk - they are open until 6am. It doesn't even open until 10pm. It's called nightlife for a reason! Whereas in the US pretty much everywhere closes at 2am or earlier (well, I've never been to Vegas) you're supposed to party here all night. My dorm is closed from 11pm to 6am anyway (I have no idea why... it may be a problem). Basically, I went out at 10:00 and was committed to a full night of debauchery.

In any case, I would describe the Novosibirsk Coyote ugly as the best possible combination of a strip club and a discotheque. The scantily-clad bartenders constantly keep the party going by singing, dancing, and otherwise enticing the crowd to keep drinking and dancing. Dancing on the bar is not just allowed, but expected of all Девушки. However, at times the place would inexplicably lapse into a confusing fit of Limp Bizkit and Tubthumper ("I get knocked down, but I get up again..."). Годкий Койот is one of those places that your eyes and body love but also steadily kills your soul.
No, it's not me (Perhaps he's my Russian twin). Photo credit:

Between tequila shots, cigarettes and dancing to anything from 90s rock to Russian pop, one can order a "body shot." They say that you haven't actually been in Годкий Койот if you haven't tried the "body shot." My idea of a "body shot" involves actually taking a shot off of someone's body. The "body shot" at Годкий койот is actually just your own personal (aggressive) lap dance, at the end of which they force feed you a shot of liquor. Naturally, Alla ordered me one. I may or may not have lost 3 buttons from my favorite shirt in the process (remember, I said aggressive), but I'm not going to say I didn't enjoy it.

So it turns out that 6am is actually pretty freakin' late, and 8 hours of not-so-ugly coyotes does eventually get a little tiresome, so we dithered away the end of the night talking on a couch, waiting for 6am so I could get back into my dorm. Why the heck does the dorm close for 7 hours again?

And now it's Sunday, and it is a sunny, brisk, fall day in Siberia. This time of year for the past 9 years of my life has always been the heart of cross country season. However, I must say I don't really feel a gaping hole in my being by not being on a cross country team this fall. That being said, I think I'll go for a run.


  1. Wait WM students taught me a wonderful English acronym: YOLO :)

  2. an unexpected accolade of that bar) I heard mostly negative impressions, like "domestic girls-bartenders r 2 obtrusive and many obnoxious)

  3. btw welcome 2 Siberia)