Return to Russia – Episode 6: Fish Pie for Sunday Lunch

“What’s that?”

Usually I’m the one asking that question on this side of the ocean, but this time it was Lena’s question to me. As we routinely stood on the curb of this 600-year-old city, waiting for trolleybus #1 to take us to church, something unusual caught her eye.

I turned to look.

“Oh, it’s just a man walking a ferret on a leash.”

They were entering the door of a pharmacy. I think the ferret thought the sign marked “Нызкие Цены” (low prices) were directed to him.

Interesting? Yes.

Shocking? No.

I love life in this city where very little surprises me. Here are a few more elements to my weekend:

A young woman threw a man off the trolleybus.

A man drank from a can a beer while walking up and down the aisle of the church during service.

A young man (in his right mind, trust me) flapped his arms like he was flying as he walked the bridge over the Neva River. Obviously, intoxicated by the rare appearance of the sunshine.

A freezer full of frozen, whole, unpackaged fish.

A babushka (grandmother) sold home-grown berries while talking on the cell phone.

A Cuban-actor-friend came over to the flat and cooked delicious Mexican food. (He was adamant to remind us that Mexican food and Cuban food are very different. I assured him I was familiar with both!)

Having guests over for dinner who cook, entertain, and repair broken curtain rods and washing machines.

Making a needle to repair curtains out of a paper clip.

And…. I ordered fish pie for Sunday lunch.

Yes, it was my choice. Yes, there were fruit-flavors, too. And, yes, it was delicious!


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