Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 13 and 14: Catching Up

On the weekends we are not allowed to visit with Jacob. :( We have asked multiple times and each time the answer is the same...No. One time they told us we couldn't because the doors were locked. We think something must have been lost in translation with that one.

On the weekends we try to catch up...catch up on sleep, on eating real meals, exploring the city, etc...

Yesterday, we mostly caught up on sleep. The stress of a different culture and language and visiting Jacob really wears us out. We both slept over 10 hours yesterday.

Today, we set out to have an adventure. Brad is an adventure junkie and I am a willing side kick. He found a Chinese restaurant online that he thought we should try for lunch. I ate a small snack before we set out because I wasn't convinced this was going to end with either us actually finding the restaurant or us being able to order anything that we would find edible.

The restaurant was actually really easy to find. It was about a 10-15 minute walk from our apartment. We race walked all the way there since it is only 19 degrees outside right now and even with the 4 layers of clothing we had on under our coats, it was still REALLY cold! The building was bright red in a sea of grey buildings, so that made it hard to miss.

Once inside, it looked promising. We sat on the red loveseats that they used instead of chairs and the waiter handed us a menu. There were thankfully small pictures, but absolutely no English. I found the word for "chicken" in the translation app on Brad's Iphone and we started scanning the menu for the first three Cyrillic letters in the world "chicken". I figured I would just point to what ever I found that was chicken and I would be mostly safe.

The waitress arrived and actually spoke about 5 words of English. We pointed to the chicken we had found and also at something that looked like spareribs. We ordered rice and tea also since these words are almost the same in Russian. When the food came it was actually sweet and sour chicken with peanuts and friend rice.

Besides being a little oily, it was wonderful. The spareribs were okay, but tasted very Ukrainian and not at all like Chinese food. Not terrible, but I wouldn't get them again. The odd thing to us was they brought us a plate of bread to go with our food. I guess it really is true that no Ukrainian meal is complete without bread, even if it is a Chinese meal.

We race walked back to our apartment with a quick detour into our favorite grocery store to buy chocolate and a cherry jellyroll (tastes a little like a rolled up pancake with sweet cherry jam) and then back home. It might take the rest of the day to thaw ourselves out from the cold, but it was worth it in the end.

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