Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

We've had a great three-day weekend here.  Saturday Jeremy was invited to play for the Embassy's team in a local softball league.  Other teams include Russians and Cubans and other expats.  Jeremy returned home happy, if slightly sunburned and with welts up and down both legs.  Apparently the outfield is right next to a giant patch of stinging nettle.  He ran in there twice.  You can't say he's not a team player (although you could make a joke about Pavlov's dogs). 

On Sunday we went to church in the morning and then I took Jeremy to Perekryostok Zelyoniy, my current go-to grocery store.  He observed that we could spend a lot of money if we didn't pay attention to prices.  Certain exotic fruits that I didn't recognize cost up to $30 per kilo.  A 10-inch shaker of red pepper flakes was also about $30.  We bought some Hungarian bacon for about $6 a pound - not terrible, but certainly more than we'd spend on bacon in the U.S.  It was very, very salty.

In the evening, we joined some new friends and their children for a barbecue.  Jeremy reconvened with the men later on for some vodka and whiskey.  To get to the meeting site, he had only to walk out our back door, walk down the grass about 300 feet, and walk into someone else's back door.  Good stumbling home distance, although he behaved well.  Monday was his day to get up early with Natasha.  He's learning.

Today we went for a walk down the Stariy Arbat (Old Arbat Street).  It's a pedestrian road lined with pricey souvenir shops and outdoor cafes.  We had lunch at "Asia Cafe."  I opted for the "Business Lunch" bento box (which included, among other things, maki stuffed with chicken ...).  Jeremy went for raw fish, with tuna nigiri, a tuna roll and a tempura eel roll.  He pronounced it decent.  Prices were probably about 30% higher than our favorite place in Virginia, but the food wasn't as tasty.  To be expected.

And now the weekend is over.  We're about to commence our evening routine of heading to bed at least an hour before we intend to sleep.  It doesn't get dark here until after 10, and even at 11:30 the sky isn't totally black.  So we go up to our bedroom early and draw the curtains, then watch a DVD or something on the computer for an hour to convince ourselves that it is night time, before turning out the light.  It's worked pretty well, but I have to make sure not to look back at the curtains after turning out the lamp - there's always still some daylight peeking in.

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