Thursday, March 24, 2011

Going Loko and Kate's Kidnapping

Go Loko!
 Last night we had the pleasure of attending the first game of the 2011 KHL (Russian Hockey League) Finals between Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and some dumb team from Moscow (Atlant was their name). The team manager pulled through and scored us some "just okay" tickets - the last ones available for the sold out game. We entered the arena, bought popcorn (score!) and made our way to the seats. Section 15, Row 1, Seats 110-112. "Hmmm..." we thought, "First row doesn't sound too bad. Maybe we're on the upper deck or something." Wrong. We were on the glass and right next to the opposing team's bench. Again, just okay.

Not too shabby
 The game was a rough go for the home team. Within the first few minutes, the opponents had scored 3 goals and Loko had failed (over and over) to perform, despite several power plays. After the first period, we headed up to the concourse and scored some sweet (NOT!) beer from the concession stand. Much to Andy's stomach's dismay, we passed on the cheese filled pastries that were being heated, reheated and rereheated in a dirty microwave. We were surprised to learn that in Russia, they do not permit beverages in the arena itself. They have several high top tables and TVs throughout the concourse where you can enjoy your delightful beverage in the company of your fellow Russian comrades. Without realizing it, we found ourselves in the scene of BY FAR the weirdest and most amazing situation that's happen to us since we've been here.

Bojan, our resident Russian translator, struck up a conversation with two Russian men - one could have easily been AC Slater's older brother and the other was a big, huge, bald, drunk local man dining on salted fish and bread. Cue the kidnapping...

Kate needed to use the WC but had little luck identifying a gender appropriate one in our vicinity. After a bit of internal struggle, Kate had ultimately decided to suck it up until we got home. Without a moments notice, BHBDL had grabbed Kate by the arm and dragged her over to a woman. We can only imagine he was asking her where the nearest bathroom might be. After some conversing and pointing, Kate was again on her way with BHBDL. Bojan and Andy watched as Kate vanished into the crowd of Russian spectators.

After a bit of walking and searching, BHBDL stopped, checked out the nearest (men's) bathroom to see if anyone was in there, then shielded her eyes and escorted into a bathroom stall. He stood guard to ensure no men entered the facility, allowing Kate to pee in peace before gratefully delivering her back to our table. It was a bit alarming and surprising, but ultimately one of the funniest, most awkward (standard Kate Diers) and entertaining thing either one of us had encountered in quite some time.

KD = amazing sports photographer
Cute 3x
The game ended in a 6-1 loss for the home team, which apparently isn't surprising for Loko since they normally play better on the road. What a blessing and unique experience to take in one our favorite sports together and in a foreign country. It was a little taste of familiarity and pulled at the homesick heart strings just a bit. Perhaps we'll be back for more tomorrow in the second game of playoff series...

On to the next one...

k + a

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