We were determined to have borsht while we were in Russia, and succeeded splendidly when we located a deli with a steam table and a few cauldrons of soup. With a lot of finger pointing we got our borsht and a few other delicacies: a dark stew of eggplant and beef, a quiche-like patty, and a whole bunch of potatoes that appeared to have been rolled around in butter. Maybe not the healthiest meal, but authentic! In the pursuit of more info on the Russian diet -- well, actually in pursuit of some good Russian chocolate -- we perused a supermarket and found this collection of exotic Russian condiments, including curry sauce, "barbekyu" sauce, "italyanskii" sauce, and Heinz 57 "steik" sauce. Oh, and that chocolate was scrumptious.
It was our first foray of this trip into a country where neither of us knew the language. Jeff knows no Russian but at least knew how to read the Cyrillic text, and occasionally could puzzle out what a sign said if the words were similar to English, Geman or French. "Oh, that sign we just passed in a restaurant said it served 'authentic Japanese food'," or "look, that dive is a lawyer's office!" We passed a kitchen store with nice German-made products, and went in and purchased a few of the cleverer ones. Then Louise decided she needed a sink plug in case we found ourselves in a hotel with no plug for the sink, a serious problem when you have only two sets of undies and one of them has to be washed each night. Think this through -- how do you ask a clerk for a sink plug using charades? Within 20 seconds, Louise had done it and the clerk had plucked one from the collection of gadgets!
At 6 pm it really was goodbye, and quite a crowd lined the maritime terminal building to see us sail off. Twenty minutes later we sailed by yet another massive bridge nearing completion, one we're not sure our boat will fit under when it's done. It's about to link growing Vladivostok to a large island that, for the moment, has only a small army base and about a million spruce and birch trees.
As the sun lay just below the horizon, we said farewell to Russia's so-called Window on the Pacific and set our sights for Pusan, another 36-hour sail away.