Hello! It’s been quite the week in Russia. Last Monday (22 March) there was a plane crash in Domodedovo (the suburb where I live), two days ago terrorists attacked the subway lines, and earlier today there were two more bombings in southern Russia! A lot of crazy stuff has been happening in my life.
It is really interesting for me to experience and process these things as a foreigner. I won’t bore you with my personal ruminations on current events (but if you’re interested, please shoot me an email!), but between the chaos and confusion that Russians have been experiencing and the fact that I hardly speak Russian to understand what’s being said, it is a lot for my little mind to handle. Talking with my students tonight was really enlightening, because they have various positions (airline pilot, police officer, internal affairs) and relatives who are “important people” and have some interesting information and viewpoints. We agreed that we’ll never know the whole truth about what happened or what’s to come, but it’s been a valuable (albeit nerve wracking and devastating) discussion. My heart goes out to the victims and their families, and if you have a moment to send a positive thought to Russia, do it (For the record, no one I know was injured in the bombings, and I am just fine.)
Okay, serious stuff over.
On a whim, I bought an eggplant last week. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with said eggplant since I prefer it baked/roasted and have no oven, but I managed nonetheless and whipped up a tasty version of eggplant parm on my stovetop.
I also made some chicken tender-like things with the same breading (homemade breadcrumbs, flour, seasonings), but they were so good that I ate them all before getting a picture. Whoops. Such things happen.
I did slow down enough to snap a pic of this delightful stir fry inspired by Ellie. Hers looked tasty, so I made some, too! I stir fried chicken, peppers, carrots, onions, and onions in a splash of oil, garlic, and ginger, and added some teriyaki sauce, and ate it with rice.
I saw this highly priced, MSG-laden bottle of teriyaki sauce in my favorite weirdo corner store (weird only because it is quite small but has an interesting and varied selection, and lots of things I only ever see there. Like soy pudding, salad dressing, or cocoa powder) and decided to give it a whirl. I mean, if it’s “fully imported” (???) it’s got to be good, right?
The other wild event of late is that Heazy’s landlord went crazy and kicked her and her roomies out of their apartment with no warning (they don’t have the same rental laws here, so this sort of thing happens sometimes, I guess)! She got moved into a temporary apartment, but it was really uncomfortable, so I had her come visit me for the weekend. And what a weekend it was!
We started out going to a Georgian restaurant, but it was closed for a private party (a crazy looking one at that!). We then decided to go to a place near my house, Cafe Club Bono, which is in a strange building that houses the cinema, an arcade, a restaurant, and a disco. Yup. All in one. They have a little bit of everything on the menu, so we decided to share some sushi (well, avocado and cucumber rolls, since I don’t do fish) and a pizza.
I’ve had this idea for sushi pizza (still working it out, but it’s going to be great, I swear!), and somehow we decided to try the pizza with the soy sauce. Guys, this was a total win. I kid you not, it tasted really good! I am, however, aware that it sounds strange (maybe even gross) but we were digging it. After our bellies were filled with pizza and seaweed, we sat and finished our drinks, and then decided that we wanted to share a milkshake for dessert. We were trying to catch the waitress’s attention when a big, burly Russian man who worked in the building came to our table. I assumed he wanted our extra chair, but couldn’t understand what the heck he was saying. Something about “leave” and “can’t be here…” I kept asking him to repeat and to talk louder (it was so noisy!), but he just got angry at us! Luckily, one of my students just happened to be sitting at the table next door and she explained that we were in trouble because we had our coats on the backs of our chairs. We decided to forgo the milkshake and the wrath of the burly man and asked for the check. While we were waiting for it, the burly man came back and yelled at us again! Needless to say, we left the money and ran! I can’t believe that I essentially got kicked out of a club for my coat! Hmph. I didn’t even get to dance on the tables!
We’ve finally been experiencing some beautiful weather, so Heazy and I went for a long, long walk.
Somehow, our walk mysteriously ended at Baskin Robbins… Strange. We got sundaes. They were delicious.
But since that didn’t qualify for real dinner and I had few groceries at home, we decided to go out to eat again. Where to go? Well, how about Cafe Club Bono? (Uhm, there are not to many options where I live….) This time we did not get kicked out, either I enjoyed a very tasty Caesar salad with chicken.
Monday (29 March) was pretty intense with the morning news. We took a slightly nervy trip into the center of Moscow. Feeling nervous works up a hunger! We stopped at a restaurant called Moo-Moo for lunch (I swear, I don’t usually eat out so much! Like I said, it’s been a wild week!). The serve up pretty typical Russian food cafeteria style, with big portions and low prices. Plus, their plates and bowls have cow print on them. I ordered an American coffee (not instant!), a bowl of borsch, grechka (buckwheat) and some meat in tomato sauce thing. It was delightful. And only cost $8.
After a day of walking around the city (very strange to think that there was utter chaos hours before, but that life continued to go on as normal–just fewer people on the metro and police dogs everywhere), I made it home, safe and sound.
Sadly (and scarily), I don’t think that this renewed conflict with the Caucasus is going to go away soon, especially considering today’s bombings in Dagestan (the republic next to Chechnya)… It is a strange time. So please think positive, peaceful thoughts for the people of Russia!
When’s the last time you went on a long walk? I’ve been going for walks a lot since the weather has been getting nicer. It’s one of my favorite ways to relax, and it’s good exercise! I went on a long one this afternoon.
Has anything wild happened in your life this past week? It’s been a pretty exciting week for me, to say the least.