Our thumbless Russian friend

The Soviet Cafe.  It seemed like such a good idea when we toddled out the hotel and down the stairs to the bar.  Now it's just a random collection of memories we pieced together at breakfast the following morning...

It started with a very nice peach vodka, sitting at a table next to an empty fish tank and a random game of dominoes.  This lead to the next vodka, or for the blokes, a dark, rather treacly beer.  Conversation turned to Matt - how remarkable it is that he's still fighting strong - and this, combined with pure peach vodka and all the pent up emotion from the past 5 months led to us all shedding a wee tear or two.  The conversation and drinks continued to flow, interspersed with trips to the toilet and sharing of the communal tootlhbrush.  Suddenly, the waitress appears with a bottle of champagne and says the gentleman behind wants to buy it for us!!!  Debs and I let out a whoop while Matt loudly thanks the man by trying out his newly learnt Russian - "Das vedanya".  The man comes over, gives a bit of a stare and we quickly burst in to giggles - Matt's just said goodbye to the guy, not thankyou.  Phew, he thinks it's funny too - just as well as we notice that he just happens to have his thumb cut off and a tattoo on his hand...  We quickly thank him in English and despite his girlfriend and dinner being at the other table, he settles down with us.  Champagne is popped, whiskey ordered for the guys, Matt's got a new best mate but we still don't know who he is or why he's buying drinks for us.  The only thing we do know is that Matt's head and scar are top entertainment for the moment!  Finally Mary the girlfriend comes over and takes the guy home. 

It's after this point that it all becomes a bit blurry.  Somehow we all managed to get back to our hotel and rooms.  I think we have to thank Matt for that as he was the wise one who decided to be sensible and stay off the vodka.  We also have some remarkable room service orders, buttons ripped off shirts and some rather random bruises...  I can only imagine the entertainment we must have provided the guests and staff at the hotel as we returned from the Soviet Cafe that night.

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