NEAR KHAMONTOVO, LENINGRAD REGION, RUSSIA–Like most American travelers, I worry most about foreign food and bathrooms. The food, at least, turns out to be delightful.
I try to drink just water and tea where possible, but I am occasionally encouraged to drink “kvas”, which is a non-alcoholic beverage made from dark bread and sugar. It is referred to as the “Russian Coca-Cola”. I use it as a substitute for the many vodka toasts during dinner. (Translated for me, most of the toasts are on the order of, “Here’s to fish and oranges!” I managed to get one in for D-Day on June 6th, combined with Pushkin’s Birthday.)
Our field day usually starts with food shopping. We buy fresh and smoked fish from roadside vendors and other items from small stores in the local villages. For some more elaborate dinners we take the ingredients with us in the car and at slow moments someone pulls out the pot and slices meats and vegetables!