Although I don’t think I should really be counting yet…. Christmas seems so near because it’s the next time I’ll be home, but really it’s not near at all. I am very disappointed that i will miss the countdown to Christmas and all the pre-Christmas festivities. It’s the best bit! But enough about the far future.
I have just had a very delicious dinner (and its past 10pm..). I had Pelmenni which are a mix of ravioli and pasties. Very delish. Despite the fact pretty much all my food has been delicious, and sometimes just edible, I am still getting used to the customs. Firstly, Tanya puts salt on everything, and i mean everything, even porridge which she has with salt and butter. Today we had tomatoes and peppers with our Pelmenni and she poured salt all over them. It just turned perfectly normal food into something a little gross. She also cooks everything in a lot of oil, I could hear my dinner sizzling and spitting from my bedroom. I have also noticed that the floor by the hob is a little wet, I’m pretty sure it’s from all the spitting oil! She also likes sauces. Any kind; mayonnaise, oil, soy sauce, sour cream, butter, condensed milk, more sour cream. These sauces are pretty much interchangeable and can be used on meals both sweet and savoury. It is ok for Tanya to put salt on her porridge and condensed milk on her cheese sandwich but I get laughed at when I put sugar in my porridge and lemon on my pancakes.
I gave Tanya some English tea last night. I really miss it so I was secretly hoping she wouldn’t like it, as they find the concept of tea with milk rather disgusting here. She loved it. With milk even! How unfortunate. However I am sure I will get the odd cup of PROPER tea so all is well. I have been having green tea and a million different types of fruit tea, most of which are disgusting. What the Russians do well, like the Spanish, is hot chocolate: their hot chocolate is melted chocolate which you eat with a spoon as it is too thick to drink, yum. We had some hot chocolate in a cafe on Monday and it had grated chocolate on the top! Now I have filled about half a page with musings about food and drink I will go onto something else…
Last night I was watching Gossip Girl on my laptop when Tanya came in and she asked to watch with me. We only watched for a few minutes and she, rather amusingly, was trying to copy what they. Hilarity ensued. She says she wants to learn English so i said i will help her now and then, but i don’t think she seriously wants to put in much effort, just know a little. Her friend is in Moscow and they have been talking in English on the internet (I still do not understand why in English), both using Google translate which, as one can guess, is pretty poor. Every now and then I will hear “Clooooooeeee” (she finds that more fun to say than Clara, which I originally said she could call me, we have now settled on Clo) and I will be required to assist in the translation of their conversation, it’s not too testing as its just “I miss you” with the odd arrangement of a time to phone. But i feel quite proud that my translation skills are required.
In other exciting news, on Friday I had my first Balalaika lesson. I wasn’t really sure what it was…turns out it is a three stringed guitar with a very odd sound. We played Kalinka which is an Old Russian folk song, it’s pretty famous I think. I am hoping that if Balalaika lessons are successful, when I return to England I can once again attempt (and succeed) at learning the guitar.
A couple of weeks ago Ali taught me how to knit and after Tanya unravelled what I had done, her and I also did some knitting. My scarf if now approximately two inches long! Success. I am hoping that it will be done by winter so I can actually wear it!