Since manic Monday things have been relatively settled. Well, I say settled, I've done quite a lot, but my mood in general has vastly improved from turbulent ups and downs to feeling pretty good about everything. I shall mainly put this down to a rise in my banana and peanut butter on toast consumption, and improvements in the sphere of work. This week I've been proof-reading various documents and brochures for Liden & Denz, and last Friday I helped write an article for the new edition of the St. Petersburg in Your Pocket travel guide (I was essentially taking Russian and non-native sounding English and turning that into a proper native-sounding article). It find it very exciting that my words shall be printed and distributed all over this city!
I've had some fun food-related shopping times this week:
- Visited the Stockmann department store food hall. After recommendations from several people I figured it was worth the trek to the end of Nevsky Prospect. It was very much worth it; I was like a kid in a candy store, deliberating for ages over what kind of pesto to buy, contemplating various varieties of sun-dried tomatoes (something you don't see in shops here at all), picking up peanut butter and peanut-flavour crisps, dried thyme and non-salted curry powder. Yes, I did pay over £6 for a jar of peanut butter, but I kept being reminded about it and it gave me cravings, ok?
- Walked home after my lessons, lunch, and three-and-a-half hour stint in the office in the Liden & Denz school today. I meandered through the shopping centre of the corner of Sadovaya which has quite an interesting feel to it: you walk through in a straight line and instead of having shops doors open on either side you walk right through the middle of them, or they are kiosks at the side. I like that, it feels like you can have a look at anything and everything, but you're not registering that you're interested in buying from that particular place because you're just passing through. I did make a few purchases though: banana milkshake-scented hand soap from L'Etoile, a vegetable peeler (I am way, way too clumsy for this peeling-with-a-knife business), some chocolate-flavour breakfast biscuits I've been hunting for here, and some strawberries-and-cream flavour green tea which I have yet to try.
Then I was passing Gorokhovaya street and decided to pop into the Rada & K shop, which is attached to a vegetarian restaurant of the same name. It's a much smaller establishment than I expected but there's all sorts of goodies there: essentials for Indian and Japanese cuisine like sheets of seaweed, generous packs of ground spices such as cumin, many different varieties of soy sauce, but my favourite discovery was tinned cooked chickpeas. Do I look like I have time for boiling a 1-person portion of chickpeas every time I fancy a curry? No.
- I finally bit the bullet and bought some fish here. Found some nice tilapia (it was the only fish name I understood), fried it up nice and simple with lemon and parsley. Flippin' gorgeous.
- It didn't involve any food but I did go see Lampasy (lit. Pinstripes) play at Club Dusche and that involved a pint of delicious dark Kozel beer. I got there for doors at 8, the band went on at 9.30 and were done by half 10. I think the singer had a bit of a sore throat, but still I was a bit miffed I'd paid 400 roubles (£8.50) for that. They were pretty amusing, and sure I danced, but they were a bit rubbish in a funny way. As in their bassist and drummer weren't present so they had a backing track, and they had a measly Thursday-night crowd in a small, chilly club. Said club would have been a lot cooler (in the hip and groovy sense) if it wasn't nearly £5 for a whisky and coke, never mind the grim toilets that remind me of the Camden Underworld but more gross because they're unisex.
As a parting shot I will leave you with this: have you ever wondered what I blobfish is? It is a real, genuine fish. Go and look it up, I'll wait...
Life on earth really does just carry on regardless, doesn't it? Doesn't matter if you're the most unfortunate-looking gelatinous bottom-dwelling blob of a fish, with no apparent contribution to the ecosystem other than eating whatever floats into its path, you've still got a life, and someone still cares about making sure you don't go extinct.
Take care, have a good weekend,