Saturday, September 16, 2006
Russian sauna and real presents...
We went to a russian sauna today. Just 5 guys. the real deal. We got a VIP sauna suit with a changing room, dinning room, showers, bedroom, a cold pool and of course a quality sauna. First we ate some good food. I had some chicken breast with a cooked cabage thing they have going on here. We drank a special tea mix they make by themselves here, very good. Afterwords we got to work.... first a warm up of 5-10 min in the sauna until you start sweating heavily. Then a quick shower, then back to the sauna for another 5-10 min, then cold pool, (steam comes out off you when you go into the cold water) then the 'Banshi' came. This guy was a buffed dude. He wears a hat and holds up two branches full of leaves of an oak. You lie down on the topest floor in the sauna, and he starts to hit you and blow very hot air on your body. It is almost unbearable. You sweat very heavily, and you have to wear a special hat to protect your head from over heating. After 5-10 min of torture you go to the cold pool again, and then come back to a second round. The guys with me were amazed that I did not scream, as apearently most men scream the first time, but I couldn't give up so easly after I busted their butts in training... The whole experience was great and we had some great laughs and quality conversation. This is what russian men are made off. They have this special bond going on between them, and I thought it was all about drinking your head off together, but now I realize there is more to it. It got me thinking about the way pleasure is percieved here. They do not run after pure pleasures here. Their pleasures are mixed with some pain. It makes it much more interesting and builts charecter. I love it, and I could realy get into it, as this is the way I see it also. As we drove home I could feel my limbs dig into the car seat. I'm gonna sleep like a baby tonight.
Walking to the apartment from the car, I got a present from Vadim, who is one of the guys I realy connected here with. He gave me a 'shapochka', a knitted hat. He told me it was very special to him, and that a good friend gave it also to him. I replied that it means a lot more now that he said it. As a kid, when I had to give someone I liked a present, I would think: 'what can I give him that I wouldnt miss too much'. When I got older I understood that it is the other way around: 'what can I give him that I would miss in the future'. True presents are hard to give. The sacrifice itself makes you remember the man involved, and makes it so much more special.
I'm glad I made so many friends here. There is no faking going on in Russia. These are true, frank, hard people with pig sized hearts. I'm going to come back here in the future. I'm sure of it.