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I’ve spent two afternoons shopping for tomorrow’s party. Yesterday I purchased a ridiculous amount of alcohol. Today I got a shopping cart full of party food. There were two pre-teen girls in the line ahead of me, and they were wide-eyed at the sight of my cart. In Russia, like most of the world, the custom is still to buy just enough food for one or two days at a time.

Food shopping in a foreign country can be kind of stressful. You may have in mind what you want, but not know what it’s called or even if it exists. And if it does, it may be in some sketchy-looking packaging and you think, hmm, might this have nuclear waste in it? So you go down each aisle scrutinizing each product, checking the dictionary, wondering if the clerks are wondering “What’s wrong with that girl? She’s been grocery shopping for three hours, and this store isn’t even that big!” And then, if you haven’t brought enough of your own shopping bags, you have to buy some, which is fine, but they ask you how many you want BEFORE you start bagging. Then you overestimate and wind up with too many bags and feel horrible.

Well, hopefully our guests will enjoy the fruits of this back-breaking labor. Aunt Kelly has been constantly admonishing me not to invite too many people, which is amusing since I think about a quarter of the guests will be my invitees. But we’ll see. I hope friends will bring friends and we’ll meet lots of new people — that was the original idea. And I hope my Chinese classmates come, if only because it’ll take them away from studying for a night — stinkin’ overachievers!

About This Blog

I'm an American who started blogging when I moved to Russia in 2004. Eventually I moved to Sweden, where life is pleasant but uneventful, and stopped blogging for lack of interesting things to say. And then I joined Facebook, which further destroyed any motivation for blogging. Maybe someday I'll start blogging again, but for now, this blog is dormant, an archive of The Russia Years: 2004-2008.

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December 2004