Day 127- December 26, 2009

Well, thank God I don’t have a manual drivers’ license. This would have meant getting up early and getting to the church before breakfast, then driving out to Dandenong to help collect the buses. Instead, I swapped jobs with someone else who did have a manual license and was assigned the duty of buying four mops. It turned out the bus was automatic and I could have driven it. Too late. I already bought the mops.

Most of the day was spent preparing for the Syezd (ie dusting chairs) and taking registrations, which involved a complicated bureaucratic system of forms and ticks and folders. I also incorporated orange juice into the mix, but this wasn’t really essential. Luckily, Sarah was my secretary and filed things in alphabetical order, which is a good thing, because I often have to go through the whole alphabet (usually in song form) to find where a certain letter is.

In the evening, after the church service, Dad (being a Russian Orthodox priest and not at all Jewish, like some people think) gave the first lecture on the order and significance of a particular kind of service. It was almost like a play what with him directing the movement of certain people (priests, deacons, choirs, etc.) and getting them to stop, start and exit stage left. Today’s photo is not of him delivering said lecture (all my shots were blurry) but of him in the carpark as I was talking to him later on. It’s the same thing. And he looks kinda intense.

Then, I had the idea of going out for coffee, but thought it would be good to invite a few people staying at the Syezd from interstate. Instead of being the half-dozen or so that I initially talked to, the group swelled to over twenty people, as people invited friends and so on. This was cool, but the train was coming and large groups are difficult to manoeuvre (not to mention to instruct in the art of train ticket purchase!). Luckily, everybody got there on time and we commandeered pretty much an entire carriage and headed off to the city, Anna criticising pretty much everything along the way. Apparently, that’s how she rolls.

So we went to a cafe in the middle of the city called Caboose, which magically managed to accommodate large groups of people what with its outdoor seating. We all enjoyed coffee or wine or beer or a combination of the above. Somebody had a caramel slice, but apparently this is naughty in Lent, so I will not name them. Please, have some faith in me.

When it was time to go home, Sarah gleefully noted that it was a 25-minute wait for a train and ran off with me to Lord of the Fries to get some chips with “Obama sauce” (see last Saturday’s post). So we stood and were loud on the station platform, eating (and occasionally dropping) chips and generally being very loud. Especially when we saw a tiny mouse, because this was accompanied with shrieks of “ISN’T THAT CUTE!”. Not from me. I’m a man.

(Since I’m staying at the hotel and I don’t really feel like paying the $10 a day for internet access, I’ve typed this up in Word and am sitting in the carpark of the local McDonalds, using their free wireless to blog. This amuses me.)

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