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Random Russian Stew

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September 6, 2012 / Russian / By
Tu Sen Tran

I sat with two of my friends on a table with a checked table cloth.  The restaurant was empty except for a table with three middle-aged men engaging in some late afternoon drinking.  Every culture had some variation in meal times.  I guess 3:30pm was not the time this small Russian town, a few hundred kilometres from Moscow, had lunch.

This small little town was supposed to have more churches per capita than anywhere in the world according to the encyclopedia commonly referred to as Lonely Planet.  We had previously sat on a hill trying to count the number of churches in our field of vision.  Twenty two.

Tired from counting and questioning the logistics in having so many churches per capita, we decided to enter the nearest restaurant. 

The waitress waited a significant time for us to sit down and peruse the menu.  She expected us to leave after seeing the menu which I presume many tourists did in the past. But we were made of stronger stuff and were comfortable of our ignorance.  After a grunt of resignation, she finally strolled over to us.

“English?” I said.

The waitress shook her head.  She tapped her notepad while we looked at each other with sudden realisation.   Our Western arrogance had presumed that English could be found in all corners of the world even though the menu was entirely in Russian.  For better or for worse, this was not the case in this tiny restaurant.

“Beef Stroganoff” I said.

The waitress shook her head.  I could not tell if she did not understand or simply did not have any on the menu.

I placed my bets on the former and started mooing.  I imitated bovine grazing and then crossed my finger across my neck and slumped on the table.

“Beef” I said.

The waitress shook her head.

It could have been the vegetarian side in me that was horrified at such an imitation of slaughter or my friends’ look of disdain across the table or the three Russian gentlemen chuckling at me. 

Whatever it was, I did what I should have done before and what many-a-foreigner has done since the dawn of time.  I flicked a few pages of the menu and randomly pointed to a dish that seemed like a main meal based on the price.

I seem to remember everything about this restaurant except the taste of the random Russian stew that came about fifteen minutes later.


N/A

Country: Russian Federation

Province/State: Moscow

City: N/A

Address: N/A

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: N/A

Website:N/A

Price Guide:$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

You are too funny Tus!
Dinh
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