I went to the Market by myself, and bought items from 3 different vendors. I was proud of doing this simple thing.

see url The plan is to got to a Restaurant for lunch and meet our new friend Dmitry. It is a fancy place made on a coal mine theme (Kemerovo's main industry is coal mining). The food was really excellent. Here is a sample of the dishes:
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We are going to the Томская писаница, the Tomskaya pisanitsa is a place that has ancient cave drawings and rock carvings. The forest is beautiful, and the river as well. Take a look at Rita's photos of the afternoon.


Dmitry and his fiance Rita met me at my flat, and we took the bus over to the central park, where Igor and I tried to go yesterday. This time the weather was nice, so we successfully rode the Ferris Wheel. It was a great view from up at the top. As usual, my photography was pretty horrible, but Rita is a photographer, so maybe I can get some good pics from her later. Those two didn't feel up to English, though later, Dmitry proved to be pretty good, and I of course could not hold much of a conversation in Russian. Luckily, Rita speaks pretty good German. We did pretty well in German. I'm actually surprised how much I remembered.

After this, we walked over to a museum that had a bunch of war artifacts from the Napoleonic era to Afghanistan and Chechnya, which had some pretty neat stuff. Also there was a separate museum section. All they could get across to me was that it was a museum of "tiny things". Needless to say, I was intrigued. Turns out it was an exhibit of works by Vladimir Aniskin, who apparently is a famous sculptor, who carves microscopic sculptures and paints them, like on a grain of rice, or on the end of a hair. The exhibit is essentially rows of microscopes on a table, where you go an look through the microscope at the sculpture on the end of a hair and such. Just crazy enough to work.

Please check out Rita's photos of the afternoon.

Appetizers on table at restaurant
Of course, I'm learning that no Russian day is complete without a huge meal. This time at a Restaurant for a "Business Lunch" (at 3PM), which is apparently the way to get a very expensive meal for much cheaper. I'll try to put some of the highlights below. Since this dinner was for Igor, Andrey and Dmitry's brithdays, I couldn't keep up with all the things going on and the names of the dishes too (and there were many). Also, I got volunteered for Karaoke, since I could sing the English songs, or so they presumed.

холодец kholodets kholedets We had another one of these
Оливье Olivier salad Another one of these
Сельдь под шубой Dressed herring Dressed Herring The name is actually "Herring under a fur coat". It's Salt Cured Herring covered with layers of boiled vegetables (beets, carrots and such), onions and mayonnaise.
окрошка Okroshka Okroshka A surprisingly good cold soup, made with Kvass, a drink made from fermented rye bread. It has finely diced raw vegetables, and boiled potatoes, and finely diced meat(can be beef, veal, pork, or ham, this one was Brisket), and wedges of boiled eggs. As with most soups in Russia, you add in sour cream just before you eat it. One interesting aspect is that it is slightly carbonated due to the Kvass.
Smoked Catfish Smoked Catfish I didn't catch the name of this, dish, but it was essentially two whole Catfishes smoked.
A bunch more stuff I don't even remember.
Andrey's Photos of the event.

Igor picked me up in the morning. He was taking his son to the central park in the town to ride the ferris wheel. It turned out to be a rainy day, and so the ferris wheel could not run, but we walked around in the park anyway and down by the river.

Andrey tagged in at the park and took me all around town. Our primary purpose was to find some rubber boots for me to wear on our mountain trip coming up. Andrey is very concerned with me dressing appropriately, and I guess rubber boots are the only way. :) Anyhow, we went through many store before we found a suitable pair of boots, and all during the mean time, Andrey showed me all around town... All the places he had lived in town including the one he was born in, and the schools he went to, and also, Igor's places too.

source url Today, we ended up at Igor's flat, where Julia had cooked us another huge meal. I eat like king around here! I don't have a complete list for this day, but I will complete it later if I can get the info.


пельмени Pelmeni A dumpling stuffed with a mixture of veal and pork served in a lovely chicken soup kind of broth. This was delicious. I could have eaten that all day.
Еврейская закуска Jewish appetizer Reminiscent of pimento cheese, it's shredded cheese mixed with garlic and mayonnaise and boiled egg. Put it on bread triangles.
Оливье Olivier salad Igor's favorite. A potato salad, with other veggies and bologna. Good stuff.
Baked Pork?? Pork cutlets baked with a cheese, onion and mayonnaise topping. Very good.

I should have done a better job at taking Photos, but what can you do?

After a grueling 30 hour plane trip, Andrey and Igor picked me up at the airport in Kemerovo, and dropped me off at my Flat.

Igor picked me up again after a nap, we walked around my flat getting oriented with my area. We went to Victory park, where there is a bunch of Tanks and Armored vehicles and Howitzers and such on display from WW2. Then we tried to get cash for me, which didn't work out so well.

Igor and I picked up Julia and his son, then went to Andrey's house, where Ana had cooked a magnificent table of Russian dishes. I will work with Andrey later to get the details of them all.

борщ borscht I love beets, so how could you go wrong?
блины с красной икрой blini with red caviar The blintz was very good. I can see why people like this, but for me, caviar is just too salty. That didn't stop me from eating several, though.
сало Cured Bacon/Fat This is kind of like raw bacon with no meat streaks in it.
холодец kholodets You ate this with spicy mustard (like English mustard, very horseradishy hot mustard).
сельдь солёная Salted/Pickled Herring She made this as slices of herring with some thinly sliced onions on top. I thought that was a tasty appetizer.
сёмга солёная Salted Salmon Slices of salt cured salmon
хреновина Khrenovina sauce I would refer to this as sort of a Siberian Salsa. It was really tasty served on small bread slices like you would use chips with salsa.
маринованные огурцы и помидоры pickled cucumbers and tomatoes Homemade from Andrey's garden
мясо со свининой запечённые Baked Pork This was kind of a casserole with pork, potatoes, cheese and onion. Really good.
компот из черноплодной рябины Compote of Chokeberry This was a drink, kind of a berry juice. Had a sort of blackberry kind of taste.
Then for Tea later...
блины со сметаной, вареньем и сгущённым молоком blini with sour cream, jam and condensed milk The Blini were served folded, but empty, you dollop Sour Cream, Jam, and/or Condensed Milk on your plate and dip your pancake in it. The condensed Milk was surprisingly good to me.
сушки Sushki These look like tiny bagel about the size of a quarter. They are kind of a cross between a pretzel and a bagel. The name means "Drying", and it's a apparently served with tea like biscuits are in England. I quite enjoyed these.
пряники gingerbread not gingerbread cookies, but actual ginger bread, like little sweet rolls.

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