This might not really be blog-worthy, but I'm just so excited: Amara's here to visit!
It all started sometime last month, when posters for an upcoming Boris Moiseev concert started appearing around Taganrog. I knew nothing about Boris Moiseev beyond what Amara, a true Russian pop culture maven (I think she knows the lyrics to more Russian pop songs than I do American ones), had told me. Which is that he's really flamboyant and pretty cheesy, as you can kind of see from his website even if you don't read Cyrillic.
Since Amara and I text back and forth all the time (we're pretty good friends, since we were both here last year; plus text messages are really cheap), I soon mentioned to her that he was coming, and joked that she should come visit and we could go to the concert together.
To my surprise, she took me seriously, and despite the hurdle of the concert being on a Wednesday instead of a weekend, she decided to make the trip. She got into Rostov today, where I'll meet up with her and Seth, and tomorrow we'll all head to Azov, a fortress-town built by the Turks to keep the Russians off the Black Sea (thanks, Lonely Planet). I come back tomorrow evening, and she'll come down on Monday after my classes are done and we'll see the Taganrog sites, including the Chekhov family house-museum and general store-museum I haven't been to yet, and Tanais, a Scythian/Greek archaeological dig not far from here. And then on Wednesday we'll go to the concert!
When I told my colleagues that I was going to a Boris Moiseev concert, they were pretty horrified. I try not to do too many things that make them think I have no common sense (it's hard - not because I lack common sense, but because the definition of common sense is often culturally determined), but I think that might have been one. As mentioned before, being gay is not OK in Russia. Apparently last time he gave a concert here, the local Cossacks protested. I kind of hope that happens again; I'll be sure to have my camera with me.
Anyway, just thought I'd share what's going on in my life. :) Off to Rostov!