In Soviet times, at the end of the winter, entire communities would get together on a specific Saturday to clean up the town of all the debris and litter that accumulated during the season. This day was called Subbotnik (Subbotta or ñóááîòà is Russian for Saturday).
I have not seen this in the 5 years I have lived here - until today. Many people, old and young, breaking up the last remnants of ice, sweeping away the litter, clearing the pavements. It is still pretty cold and miserable out, but that didn't seem to stop anyone.
Drinking The Local Way
It is commonly understood that Russians are particularly fond of alcohol (someone far wittier than me once commented of Russians that if it is liquid and it burns, they will drink it), but it is very rare that they drink by itself - food is also an important part of the activity.
Typically accompaniments include cucumbers (fresh or pickled), fish (raw, salted, dried), cooked meats, cheeses etc.
Being a dedicated hater of all seafood, I cannot comment on the tastiness of the dried fish in the picture, but I can confirm the smell was appalling...
More local foods
This particular delicacy (the middle shelf, off-white square block towards the right, at 220 to 260 roubles per kilo) is one I have tried, although my gag reflexes kicked in and prevented me from swallowing.
Sala is basically congealed, shaped pig fat, often infused with herbs or things that resemble grit but probably don’t taste so pleasant. It is usually sliced about 1 to 2 cm thick and eaten with black bread, as an accompaniment to alcohol.
On this photo, the fact that it is more expensive than either the sausages or the cheeses is testament to the enthusiasm the Russians have for it. This enthusiasm is one I do not share as, essentially, it is what you expect – congealed, shaped pig fat.
A flowerist shop which you can...
A flowerist shop which you can see all over in Russia - from east of Yuzhno Sakhalinsk till far end to west of St Petersburg and north to Murmansk.
Curious about where can they find such beautiful flowers on this big piece of freezing land.