5/10/09 – 14:30
I’ve figured out the coffee situation here. Seems that no one really drinks black coffee, the kind I like. In Coffee House, when I asked for black coffee, the waitress looked surprised. She asked «без молоко,» without milk?, several times, but I thought she got what I wanted.
What she brought out, however, was nothing like the coffee I drink in the U.S. I got a mug about a quarter full of dark black coffee, or perhaps espresso, a small cup of milk, and instructions, mimed by the waitress, to add sugar from the jar at the table. So I did as she said and enjoyed my milky-sweet-definitely-not-black coffee, still determined to figure out how to get a full cup of dark full-bodied joe.
Later, we found ourselves at Coffee Club near our apartment, in need of caffeine to stay awake for a few more hours and deal jet lag another blow. There, I ordered some sort of mocha, which came piled with whipped cream. Nice, but not a daily drink.
Tom, however, ordered an Americano. Turns out, that’s the closest thing to black coffee you can get here. And even then, they’ll bring you enough sugar with it to bake a cake. So from now on, it’s—perhaps all too appropriately—Americanos for me.
With my Americano this morning, I had, for my first time here, something distinctly Russian: бутербродь c kрасное uкрой-an open sandwich with red caviar.
At Café Bar, which, with its wooden walls, wooden floor, and wooden chairs, resembles a hunting lodge, I tackled a menu entirely in Russian. So, that I had a caviar sandwich stems, at least partly, from the fact that caviar and sandwich are two of the few food-related Russian words I know. But that vocabulary is growing quickly out of necessity. Can’t wait til I can order a whole meal (one that’s без мясо-without meat)!