Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog, including strong statements in support of weinerdog-riding monkeys, are our own, and not those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

If it's Tuesday, it must be...

...sweater weather.

Luckily, Jack has a few dandy sweaters that work quite nicely, compliments of Grandma Bonnie.

...time for a drink at the kiddie playground.

Katherine and I have adapted wholesale to the Ukrainian idea that it is perfectly fine to drink beer pretty much anywhere. I have a 40 minute walk to and from work. On many days, I stop by a kiosk near work, make my choice (Slavutich Premium, usually), and enjoy a lovely beverage during my stroll. We also spend quality time at the park with the stone fish and a few cold beers. And we are not out of place doing so. Ah, Kyiv.

Jack, meanwhile, plays while we sip, or chug, as the case may be.

...time for Vodka. Actually, in 3 weeks, we have yet to sample any of the vodkas on display in the vodka aisle at MEGAMARKET!!!! (I've decided the all caps isn't enough, it needs exclamation points), or any vodka, for that matter.

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you the vodka aisle.

...the Maidan. Maidan, as you all know, is Ukrainian for ploshad, which is Russian for square. All very confusing. So the Maidan Nezalezhnosti means Ploshad Nezavisimosti means Independence Square. Get it? Me neither. But in the background is the area that hosted the Orange Revolution in 2004. The whole area was a tent city where thousands, nay, hundreds of thousands...well, maybe tens of thousands, swelling to hundreds of thousands at various times (what do I know, I wasn't here) of people forced a change in Ukrainian political leadership that ushered in the presidency of Viktor Yuschenko, and relegated Viktor Yanukovich (yes, two Viktors, very confusing) to Prime Minister when his party won the NEXT elections, but not the elections I just monitored last weekend (yes, lots of elections).

Yanukovich's party, The Party of Regions, had a stage all set up in the background for some concert/gathering/protest/celebration/who knows what.

Speaking of fun with language, yesterday I was walking home after tennis (it was a bit xenophobic, I have to tell you) and stopped into a restaurant near our apartment to see if they delivered. Rock and Roll Cafe! With a name like that, serving Asian food of course, but good Asian food we've heard.

Anyway, here's how the conversation went, translated from the original Russian, of course:

me to a group of 3 waitresses lounging by the bar: Do you have exhibitions?

waitress: What?

me: Do you have exhibitions?

waitress: This is a restaurant.

me. I know, do you have exhibitions?

waitress: What do you mean?

me, getting frustrated: Exhibitions...of food.

waitress, turning to her colleague: What is he talking about?

me: You know, I call from home, order food, and you send it to my apartment.

waitress: You mean delivery?

me: wha..oh, yes, delivery...not exhibition.

waitress: No.

Now, in my defense, exhibition and delivery are somewhat similar words.



And I'd just seen a sign at a museum advertising an...yes...exhibition, so it must have stuck in my brain.

Nevertheless, I slinked out of the restaurant with my proverbial tail between my actual legs. They do do food to go. I think I'll send Katherine to pick it up when we finally do order from there.


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