“Perhaps We Could Drink Some Tea…”

I have given up finding the perfect cup of coffee in Russia. Such a thing just does not exist in a culture so based on drinking tea. A wikipedia article I researched reports that 82% of Russians drink tea on a daily basis.

Sure they have coffee available for the token foreigner who shows up and prefers it, but it is always an after-thought, a concession, appealing only in its exotic qualities. Tea is the native drink for Russians. Has been for over 300 years, and it is always available in large doses, the larger the better. Continue reading

Celebrating an Anniversary with Singing

We celebrate the anniversary of our host’s marriage in the Orthodox Church. By all rights, not the “real” anniversary date since people in the Soviet Union were almost all married civilly, outside the church and then after the fall of communism came back to have their union blessed by a proper church sacrament. You wouldn’t know that this was just their second wedding anniversary from the celebration and the songs that accompanied it. The old-timers really hammed it up in a big way. Continue reading