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May 2010

five o'clock


there's a great little coffee/tea shop on the city's arbat (pedestrian mall) called five o'clock.  it's owned and run by a british gentlemen. he also serves fantastic desserts at very low prices.  a cup of coffee and a slice of pecan pie will only set you back 70rr, or just over 2 dollars.  the seating is cozy and always full of customers.  so be ready to wait for a table if you want to relax a bit.  it's worth the wait.

blue ridge ship comes to vladivostok

now that my website is back up and operational, its time to catch up with what's been going on over the last few weeks.


the u.s.s. blue ridge came for a visit during the russian victory day holiday weekend.  so all of us at the consulate were busy with the planning before hand and the days the ship was in port.  i volunteered for an event put on by our foreign agriculture service section.  it was a cooking competition between local chefs, consulate staff and the ship's cooks.  i wasn't a competitor.  i was a tasting judge.  which in my mind was better.  the consulate was represented by our consular affairs officer, who is the best cook out of all the americans here.

the press was out in full force filming and taking pictures throughout the afternoon as the cooks prepared their entries.  the competitors had to cook a pork and beef steak and present it within 15 minutes to the judges. unfortunately there was no final winners since everyone only received a nomination as a prize, like most glamorous, most aromatic, etc.  but the event was fun to watch and i relished the judging part.  by the time it was over i was stuffed.

there were several other events that took place also.  the sailors visited one of the orphanages, invited children on board for a chess tournament, and the ship's band performed at one of the local venues.