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Travels in Russia

KLM Rocks Across Europe!
Santa Claus in Moscow
Television Is a Time Suck
The Reality of Irrelevance
Salute Mayor Luzhkov
Impeachment Happens
I Am Not The Only One...
I'm Back! Did Ya Miss Me?
Chechnya Burning
Weddings in Winter
The Jews Are Here!
Gailyn Goes to Town
Is There a Central Bank?
Santa Barbara is Real
Nick's Thanksgiving in Russia
Den' Rozhdeniya = Birthdays
Those Crazy Expats
It's Just a Few Drops of Vodka...
Elections Are Always Rigged
The Blind Leading the Blind
Good Russian Grooms
You Say 'Boris Berezovskiy' Fast
Too Cold to Care!
Russian Oil Towns
Sneaky Siberian Tigers
Which Way is St Peterburg?
Where am I again? Oh, yeah...
I Love Me Some Vodka
It's a Gosorg Halloween
Hunger Comes to Us All
Why Don't They Just Learn English?!
Post-Crisis, Life Goes On
Is Yeltsin 'The Man'?
Murmansk - Brrrr!
Taganka Hides Her Secrects
These are Communists
It's a Power Vaccum
The Commies are Back
Propaganda is Good for You
You Better Buy Russian!
Sex Ed Soviet Style
Party over, oops outta time!
Russian Healthcare in Moscow
What Russian Financial Crisis?
YE Prices in Russia
The Hungry Duck
Russian Caviar Mafia
Magical Mushrooms
Shhhh! We're Bear Hunting
Soviet Street Scams
Bez Dollarov
A Koshka Konspiracy
On The Dacha
The Banking Implosion
Surviving Army Life
Dacha Thinking
Beach Weekend
Dos Vedanya
Hello from Vladivostok
Equality Means Only She Works
Jogging is an Extreme Sport
Russians Have Reunions Too
My Folks in Massive Moscow
Better than Fireworks
Miners Are Real Men
The Russian Mafia is the Roof
No One Smiles in the CIS
One Year Anniversary
Russian Brides Rock
Laura is My St Pete Connection
Change is in the Wind
Chuck Norris' Beverly Hills Casino
The Expat Woman's Predicament
Street Food is Yummy!
Spring Flowers Make June Leavers
The Provinces Are Provincial
Ever Take an Elektrichka?
The English Invasion
Nuttin Like New Money
Rules Are Made to Break
All Black is Russian Fashion
Easter Memories = Easter Dinner
Politics, Russian Style
Theresa Tries to Russify
I Go to Gay Clubs Worldwide
I Hide on Women's Day
New & Shiny: Nizhny Novgorod
Psst! Wanna job in Moscow?
Fili Park Has All the Bootlegs
Web Page Reactions
Take a Break at Dom Odaha
Expat Living in Moscow is Swank
Why Are You Remonting?
They Look Like Telephones...
In Need of a Decent Hairstylist
Smashing Bottles in Red Square


Russia, August 10, 1998

Shashleek is Steak on Steroids

The Russians do a mean meat BBQ!

10 August, 1998


By Nick

Weekends are a really big deal here in Russia. Most Russians go to their country house and the others go on a pick-nick, called "shash-leek". Shashleek is a pick-nick centered around pork on a stick and cooked over an open fire. Of course there is also alcohol involved.

A good friend of mine invited me on a special shashleek party. He rented a large boat and invited about 30 people to a very remote location. The place was beautiful. He even invited a stringed quartet to play for us while we ate. The whole thing was fabulous.

Well around 18:00 it started to rain and rain and rain. The boat was coming back at 21:00 and everyone could hardly wait to go home. By 21:45 everyone was pretty sure the boat was not going to make it back. We had to stay the night out in the middle of no-where. We were lucky in that there was a houseboat out there and the couple that lived there rented boats to people who come out. The owners had enough room to allow the girls to sleep on the floor inside but the guys were just out of luck and had to sleep outside in the cold.

Since it was raining no one wanted to sleep on the ground. I was a Boy Scout so I knew that if I slept on a bench or table without a blanket that cold night air would be blowing all around me and that my body temperature would lower quite quickly. Being the innovative person I am, I remembered these people had a small sailboat they rented during the day.

I climbed on board, opened a window on the boat (since the door was locked), climbed into the boat and sure enough I found a small bed in the cabin. They had pillows and blankets in there and it was quite warm. Of course the pillows and blankets probably had not been washed in 10 years but when you are cold, tired and yes a little drunk you just do not care.

The next day all my friends had a little trouble finding me but I eventually heard them yelling "Nicholas! . . . . . . . Nicholas!" So I came out of my nice little cabin and we all went home (yes the boat did eventually come back for us).

Since no one froze to death the shashleek party could be called a great success. I know the Captain of the Russian boat has a little to learn about manners, the safety of his passengers and honouring a contract but he was probably drinking and did not want to break the law by driving while intoxicated. So in a way he was thinking about us.

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