Shuba Hunting

In Russian, the word “шуба” [shoo-ba], plural: шуби [shoo-bee] has two meanings. 1. A fur coat 2. A salad that consists of alternating layers of mayonnaise, beats, and salted herring fish. The full name of the salad is translated as “Herring under a fur coat.” To most Americans, both are foreign and puzzling. Here we’re … Continue reading Shuba Hunting


Nevsky Prospect

It can be rather overwhelming at times to simply choose a sightseeing destination to visit in St. Petersburg. The city is teeming with attractions, from the palaces, cathedrals, and other historic buildings to the modern art exhibitions and pristine suburbs. It should come as no surprise that the Hermitage Museum, Kazan Cathedral, and the Peter … Continue reading Nevsky Prospect

Depends on the Day

Since I arrived in Moscow just over a month ago my friends and family have asked me what I think about Russia. It is a simple question, but one that I find nearly impossible to answer. I typically move past the question quickly in emails with general answers about how well my host mother cooks, … Continue reading Depends on the Day

The Metro: Revisted

When I first arrived in Moscow, I was in complete awe of the metro system. Compared to public transit in America, it was fast, efficient, and cost virtually nothing. Riding it was a pleasure and I used the valuable time on the metro to read and study vocabulary flash cards. Sometimes if I was lucky … Continue reading The Metro: Revisted

A Vegetarian in St. Petersburg

There is no tofu in St. Petersburg. Or if there is, it is remarkably well hidden. I have searched the aisles and corridors of supermarkets across the city, and the closest thing I’ve found is white fish that looks vaguely like tofu (if you squint a lot). I had an all-too-fleeting moment of excitement when … Continue reading A Vegetarian in St. Petersburg

The Great Boot Search

A traveller can wrack his nerves in an attempt to anticipate and prepare for problems ahead. In this pursuit, it is easy to waste money and time in over-preparation and over-thinking. It may be of benefit to the reader to relate the experience of an acquaintance of mine who did just that. He loved to … Continue reading The Great Boot Search

СЛАДОЕЖКА – “Sweet Eater”

My host mother calls me a сладоежка - "sweet-eater". The time when I can go for a walk somewhere in St. Petersburg and not stop by a store for a chocolate bar – or two – is now a rare event. The proliferation of Пятёрочка, 7Я, and Дикси throughout the city, not to mention the … Continue reading СЛАДОЕЖКА – “Sweet Eater”