Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Russki Business

When two American girls and one Russian (by way of Kazakhstan) boy decide to throw a party, the cultural differences really come out. They become particularly apparent when the American contingent decides to go with an obscure theme, namely the 1983 film Risky Business. The idea was actually Molly’s, and she had to explain it to me since I hadn’t seen the movie. The following picture about sums it up:

No pants, no shoes, no service?

Since pants-free parties are a pretty fratty idea, we decided to go the extra mile (because a kilometer is not far enough) and serve up the frattiest drink possible: Pink Panty Droppers, a cocktail that is better than the sum of its terrifically low-quality parts. Embarrassingly, that idea was all mine…you’re welcome, Russia.

If Dima wasn’t horrified enough by our theme (and he was), the description of a Pink Panty Dropper was the nail in the coffin. “You want to make drinks with alcohol that a Russian wouldn’t touch, that’s going to get everyone wasted, and then the cops will show up to an apartment full of people without their pants on?” Obviously Dima was not in charge of drafting the Facebook invite.

On the eve of the party, Dima was even less excited. It seems that Russians provide food for their guests, whereas I had thought I had done enough by schlepping 10 liters of liquor and mixers from the grocery store through the snow and ice. Not so. Russians need zakuski (snacks) to balance out their vodka consumption, and Dima didn’t seem to think Liz’s brownies and my dip would suffice. But Liz shot down Dima’s objections by reminding him that “we’re Americans, damn it, and we’re throwing an American party!”

Come Friday, I was embarrassed to have Dima witness the mixology behind a Pink Panty Dropper (which I was now referring to as a “Risky Business”). It consists of 2 liters of vodka, 4 liters of the lowest quality beer you can get your hands on, and 6 cans of lemonade concentrate (which is obviously not sold anywhere in Russia and was procured by the shadiest of means). By now, Dima’s boss had arrived, and I begged him to look away as I emptied the aforementioned ingredients into a bucket. But when I passed a glass to Dima, his taste buds betrayed him, and I think it would be safe to say he drank more of the “Risky Business” concoction than any of the Americans in attendance.

As for the dress code, it seems Russians are just as eager as Americans are to drop trou and strut around like a young Tom Cruise, with or without “Old Time Rock N’ Roll” blaring in the background. One Russian, who hadn’t met any of us before, reacted by turning to his wife and saying gleefully, “I told you Risky Business meant no pants!” Then, without wasting time on pleasantries, he asked if he could strip down to his skivvies. I barely got out a “yes” before his pants hit the floor. Between the Pink Panty Droppers that disappeared before midnight and the fine display of Russian briefs (including one pair of USSR-themed undergarments), I would say the Americans put on a solid party.

1 comment:

  1. Only you could host this party. What I would have given to be there ...