After several days of staying indoors and staring at the computer screen, Tanya comes to the rescue and drags me outdoors.
You may remember Tanya as the heroine of Зелений гай and the ☭ metro stop. She's still an English teacher, still living in Proletarska, and still a very good friend. Today we retrace our steps from that earlier adventure, but the heavy layer of winter everywhere makes it almost a new and unexplored land.
|Circus truck. A small circus tent is set up nearby.|
|Lost: German Shepard. A child is suffering.|
|"It's not far", she says as we wander this back road. And then she adds (I think?) a joke: "Oh, by the way, I heard there's a prison back here..."|
There are no other neighbors in the kitchen at the moment. We slip in, dump a bag of пельмени (dumplings) in a pot of boiling water, and stand at the stove for several minutes, waiting for the пельмени to finish cooking and float to the top of the pot. Meanwhile, there's a lot to see: for Tanya it's old uninteresting things but for me it's new. There's a string of someone's dried fish strung up above the refrigerator. A large mesh sack of onions is propped up in the corner. Under the table, kilos and kilos of potatoes have been covered with a heavy blanket. The kitchen, incidentally, is squeaky clean. The three stovetops are spotless. Near the multiple sinks are a mop, buckets, and scraps of cloth for scrubbing.
We hurry from the kitchen back to Tanya's room with the dumplings. Tanya pulls out butter, sour cream, sunflower oil, all of it homemade from the village. Grated beet and a marinated cabbage salad made by her mom join the offerings. As a final touch Tanya pulls out a plastic bottle repurposed to hold her husband's homemade wine. It is a perfect meal, complemented by the episode of давай поженимся (Let's Get Married!) that we stream off of Channel 1 Russia.
Wow, I can definitely tolerate a little more winter if it's going to be like this! : )