"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up."

Arthur Koestler 


1161 Years Old

Our FounderMurom was 1161 years old last week, and as you can imagine, this is a cause for celebration. 

The streets in the center of town are closed to traffic and a carnival atmosphere is evident. As is typical in such situations, there is sugar-ladened food everywhere. Even a grumpy old food critic like me had no objections. We had lunch at the Cafe Milano. The decor was faux-Italian with faux-plaster in the expected European colors. Stylish pictures of medieval scenes (only one could be identified as Italian and that one was of Venice not Milan) covered the walls. 

Snoop Dog was singing on the TV, but with the sound off it did not detract too much from the ambiance. The menu was mostly sushi with the traditional Russian food as well. There were a few italian pasta dishes but not many. I had a Georgian soup, the country not the US State. It was spicy as is typical for such fare. The owners were Arminian. I liked the food and we ate there several times during our stay. 

After lunch we listened to traditional Russian music, like this: 

Our New BridgeStacy was happy that there were bouncy Castles to jump in, and she said the cotton candy was good. A local FM station was having some sort of dance contest. I did not participate. I do not limbo well. 

We were there long enough that we could eat again, but would you believe that the pizza place, also called Milano, did not have cheese pizza? Stacy was disappointed. We went home to eat. 

It was a fun outing for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Almost as fun as the Jazz festival we missed in Idyllwild because of the trip. 


Those Were the Days

Pam Dewey, beloved editor of the blog, has been doing some interesting things on one of her own blogs. One example is a set of old, funny ads that make you ask, "What were they thinking?" I have include my favorite to the right.  Click here to see the full set. You can look through the various blog posts on these nostalgic themes. 


A Nice Rant

This is a nice rant from someone known for rants. If you are wondering where the 70 trillion dollar figure mentioned is from, it is the estimated unfunded liabilities of Medicare, Social Security and the debt added together. (Note that I am not sure that removing money from politics will help. In fact I rather doubt it.)


The Unpardonable Sin

I may have committed the unpardonable sin, I actually like this Justin Beiber video. It is getting a lot of play in Russia and I assume it is popular in the US as well. 


No Fat Russian Girls

At least that used to be true. In my first trip to Russia everyone one was thin. At least I felt a little self-conscious since I was over the borderline between overweight and obese. Now, overweight but not close to obese, I fit right in.

Sure, on that first trip there was the occasional beer belly and chunky babushka, but now it is common. It is only natural that we gain weight as we get older. For some reason the human metabolism changes as we age. If we eat the same foods we did when we were younger, we gain 5 to ten pounds a decade. Russia is getting older at an alarming rate, but what I am noticing is more than that.

It is not the restaurants. You can still get great meals for about the same price as the US, but these are gourmet meals. You might have to wait longer, as everything is made fresh. But I did notice that the desert sections of the menu are much larger now, and I see a lot of ice cream eating going on.

I am not sure why everyone here in Russia is heavier than in years past, but I do have a guess. Wherever the western diet spreads, people get sick and fat. I hope these observations will encourage me to continue eating well.