The eighth of March – or as it is known pretty much everywhere except the US, International Women’s Day – turned out to be quite the treat for this wet and slushy week.  In Russia, the 8th of March is like Valentine’s Day on steroids; everywhere you looked, men were running with bouquets of flowers (odd numbered arrangements only: in Russia, even numbered arrangements are only given for funerals), chocolates, hideous balloons, and various other extravagant frivolities.  I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to Anastasia’s for dinner, where her father-in-law prepared an amazing meal.  Unfortunately, I confused the first course with the entire meal and ended up eating WAY TOO MUCH, but the food was so delicious that it was well worth it.  Some of the food was traditional Russian cuisine, but the rest was a delectable mixture of Greek, Taiwanese, and Italian.  Topped with a glass of French wine and some wonderful conversation (in Russian!), the eighth of March has definitely rocketed to the top of my ‘best evenings in Russia’ list.  Of course, now I am really at a loss as to how I will pay back such generous hospitality.  Whoever it was that said Russians were cold, unpleasant people, must never have gotten to really know anyone from this country….I feel that was a convoluted way to say what I wanted to say, but my English is failing me at the moment.  I suppose that is a good thing. 

The rest of the week was rather pleasant.  We have finally reached a consistent 30 + degrees F, which means the city is turning into a Russian Venice as the streets fill with melted snow and the water from busted pipes.  It is a bit of a mess, but encouraging to know that this winter will not last forever.

Oh, and a little side note: I tried my hand at vegan curry the other day, sans recipe, and it turned out quite well.  Thank you globalization.


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