Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Weekend Adventures

This past Saturday night, while out and about near Arbatskaya Street with Russian friends, Amalia spied a folded 5,000 ruble note on the ground. Of course I swooped down to pick it up and, after inspecting it for watermarks to make sure it was real, we marveled over our finding–– the equivalent of 150 USD. We decided to use at least part of it to pay for dinner at an Uzbek restaurant that our Russian language assistant at Wellesley, Anna, had told Gabi about. So Sunday night Amalia, Gabi, and I braved the cold and wind to get to Urayuk, the Uzbek restaurant. The interior was cozy and colorful. Ikat silks hung from the walls and across the ceiling, and the thick air was filled with the sweet smelling smoke of flavored shisha. The food was delicious–– some of the best we've had here, and we've been to all sorts of restaurants (Russian, Georgian, Chechen, Azeri, Indian, Tibetan...). We had tea, lamb pilaf, lamb kebab, and roasted eggplant with a tahini sauce. After we finished, we asked for the check and handed over the 5,000 rubles. Five minutes later, the waitress returned with the check and the 5,000 rubles, and pointed out some inconspicuous text on the note which we had somehow failed to notice: "Не является платежным средством." We ended up having to pay for the meal from the money allocated to each of us for our food while we are here, but it was worth every kopeck and more.

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