Foraging For Food In Siberia

Foraging For Food In Siberia

How do you get food if you don’t speak Russian? Making a connection is key to staving off the hunger pangs.

After a damp morning tramping the inner core of Ulan-Ude, Siberia examining the shuttered windows and Buryatia architecture in the rain, it’s time for sustenance. Keeping in mind the general rule for the entire country, “no one speaks any English”, ducking into a pizzeria is a favoured choice, given it’s worldwide acceptance. Not so. The menu is in Russian Cyrillic, and, although many letters are the same as in English, not a single word looks like pizza, never mind small details like “pepperoni” or “salami”. In a country renowned for it’s seasoned meats, a glimmer of what the words might be in Russian is frustrating. Out with the guidebook back pages, the trusty “Frequently Used Phrases” section. Hmmm, sparse pickings here; only generic terms are available. Sharing pages with the waitress brings barely a glimmer of sympathy but it’s time to get used to that demeanour. Saying “pizza” with different syllable emphasis does not get anywhere. The thought of another day of roasted pine nuts picked up on the Ulan Bataar (Mongolia) streets looms. They are okay for the twelve hour bus ride from Mongolia but inside a restaurant one should not be contemplating another meal of seeds. With foreigners on the brink of starvation, she nods. That was a close one but we just may be sinking our teeth into a pizza with some kind of meat in a matter of minutes. The next hurdle is easy and it is a low one. How about “beer”? Ahh, she robotically repeats exactly as we ordered (without a smile, of course), the universal connector. A bridge. Vodka probably would have worked too but 11 AM seems a little early. More on this timing later.

Out the door and on our way to the Fresh Food Market (найдены отдельные слова) for backup provisions in fear similar foraging experiences lay ahead in Russia. In some ways the journey ahead seems long. Note to self, bring a real phrasebook the next time.

 

For more on Siberia see http://heathersimondsphotography.com/2013/01/17/siberia/

 http://heathersimondsphotography.com/2013/01/28/rain-rain-rain-in-ulan-ude-siberia/

http://heathersimondsphotography.com/2013/01/21/shuttered-windows-of-ulan-ude-siberia/

Russian travel photography
Buryatia Architecture On A Rainy Morning

 

Russian travel photography
Marketplace, Ulan-Ude, Siberia, Russia

 

Russian travel photography
Siberian Bounty At The Market

 

Russian travel photography
Dried Foods For Sale In The Siberian Fresh Food Market

 

 

Russian travel photography
Everything Is In Russian In The Siberian Marketplace

 

 

2 Responses to “Foraging For Food In Siberia”

  1. Byron

    A photo menu would allow you to point, but maybe they don’t get enough foreigners to have thought of it.

    Reply
    • Heather

      When you embark on the VISA process you will soon realize that attracting visitors and keeping them happy is not a Russiain priority. All the more reason to visit the country to see what the Russians are up to. Someone pointed out to me today, Russia has never been conquered. Food for thought.

      Reply

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