It's a fact. I am going to starve to death in Russia. Unless we can sneak in a lifetime's amount of Ramen noodles, Easy Mac, and Slimfast bars, I am going to die.
We watched an episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman today and you'll never guess where he went.
That's right - St. Petersburg, Russia, which is very close to where Pskov (Evan's town) is.
First, they introduced us to all the lovely vegetables and cold cuts available in a Russian marketplace. We had a piece of ham that incorporated every single part of a pig (including the tongue and head). And pickled everything - from tomatoes, to garlic, to pickles. Yes, pickled pickles.
They did seem to have some quality honey, which is comforting. Although, you can't live off honey for three and half weeks.
He then sampled some traditional borscht, which seemed to be sort of a weird Russian stew. They said it had vegetables, sour cream, sometimes meat. He ate one that was purple, beets I think. You can be rest assured that I will not be eating purple soup.
Then we went to the classiest restaurant in St. Petersburg, and I thought for sure they'd at least have some chicken or a burger or something. But no. What our dear friend Andrew sampled was "delicious" caviar (fish eggs). He enthusiastically pointed out the greenish-blue liquid that was leaking out of them as fish oil. Lovely.
When we finally arrived in the countryside, we had a traditional Russian barbecue. A mystery meat skewered on a stick.
After the meal, they decided to do banya. It's basically a sauna where the guys are in bathing suits and the girls are in nothing but a towel. Oh, and while they're in there, they bat each other with dried leaves for their health. Afterward, they quickly run and jump into a freezing cold lake. And keep in mind that all of this is apparently beneficial to their "health."
You know, I don't care how sickly I look. I am not sitting in a hot room in nothing but a towel with a bunch of scantily dressed Russian men. Not gonna happen. The Russian people can think whatever they like about me.
The only food that looked remotely interesting to me was bliny. Kind of like a Russia taco, it's basically some sort of meat and/or cheese wrapped in a crepe. Since you can basically get chicken wrapped in a salty pancake, I think I'll be okay.
Before I end this post, I have a simple prayer to offer up. I am not being sarcastic in any way. This is a serious matter for me.
Dear Jesus, thank you for this day. Please let there be a place that sells bliny in Pskov, and please let the airport allow me to bring Ramen, Easy Mac, and granola bars. Thank you that America will be waiting with a cheeseburger, pizza, and mashed potatoes when I get home. Amen.