Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day 7 - Just hanging out

Today is Saturday and we are not allowed to visit the institution on the weekends. We are not exactly certain why, but think it is because the director does not work on the weekends and wants to be there when we are there.

We spent the day catching up on everything: sleep, laundry, sight-seeing, and grocery shopping. It was very windy and raining off and on today, so we tried not to stay outside too long. We realized that we are in a wonderful location. We had explored what was to the left of our building (which is pretty much nothing,) but never what walked to the right. We found multiple little corner groceries and deli counters like we have in New York. We found a large grocery store and bakery with a hot food counter (picture Zabar's for those of you in NYC.) We ate at McDonald's for lunch...which is funny since we almost never eat McDonald's while we are in the States. We were ready for something that looked familiar. It actually tasted a little better than what we are used to in the States. We both got Big Mac meals since that was the easiest thing to order with the language barrier. Everyone eats the fries with some sort of tartar sauce so if we go again we might take a little ketchup with us from our stash at home. :)

We walked 15-20 minutes to a mall that has a large store that is kind of like a Walmart. We looked at strollers since our son will need one on the way home. Also, all the toys we brought are a little beyond his skill level until we are able to catch him up again. We do have a plush puppy and a nerf basketball with us, so we will probably stick with that for now. Everything else goes straight into his mouth (really typical behavior for kids who have spent time in an institution) and we are afraid he will choke.

By the time we got home I was pretty exhausted. We had forgotten how tiring it is to be immersed in a different culture. I laid down on the couch when we got home to take a quick nap and ended up sleeping almost 3 hours.

Here are a few random pictures from our apartment and our outing today.
A huge statue that seems to be a throw back from the Soviet era. You can always find government buildings here because they still have a statue of Lenin outside of the them.

Chicken Satay over rice with stir-fried cabbage. The only veggies available here are cabbages and root veggies. Good thing we like cabbage!

Our Cyrillic microwave.

Enjoying a Big Mac. Everything was the same as the U.S. except for the little dog running around under people's feet eating french fries. That was completely different!

A beautiful church that is across the street from the Mall.

The Mall and walmart-ish store.

The walk home.

It seems that bacon and lays sour cream and onion potato chips transcend all cultures.

Our make shift drying rack. Maybe we should have washed out sheets earlier in the day...we might be ironing and hairdrying them before bedtime.

Our pink topiary...because doesn't every home need one of these?
If you go to a bakery to buy a few slices of cake and they ask if you want a kilo of cake...say NO unless you want about 14 slices of cake. :)

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