Odessa happenings (and lots of food).

Well, hello.
I have finally come down from my Lemsip high enough to write something. I kid. Sadly Lemsip does not give you a high, just the impression that somebody has poisoned your lemon squash. For the record, it tastes even worse when you have to make it yourself, as opposed to having a lovely Mum take care of you (present coming your way for this Sunday, Maman).
Being a bit sniffly is rarely a reason not to have adventures, especially in this beautiful weather.
I have been flexing (read painfully straining) my Russian muscles over the last few days. Why must there be so many words? And why do I only know about five of them?
On Saturday I went for lunch with Erinn and a friend of hers, Liuda. Erinn speaks English and German, Liuda Russian and German, and I (supposedly) know English and Russian. As we had a lack of common language, a kind of triangular conversation ensued. It is amazing how much a bottle of wine can help in these situations. Noted for future oral exams.
After a quick walk to clear our heads, we headed to our boss’s birthday party. We, naturally, bought her a Union Jack scarf. Despite having eaten what seemed like a ton of shashlik at lunch, I consumed my own weight in sushi and crisps. Happy days!
In other foodie adventures….
We got a “шоколадный вулкан” or a chocolate volcano. This merits an Amanda “cake face”.
Breakfast joy

And more Georgian fun.
Kudos if you can read this. My sense of humour is oh so sophisticated.
Delicious “sick jelly”. 
Fat Mozes. Surely the best-named restaurant in Odessa.
This is nothing new, but it never fails to amaze me how big a thing sushi is here. Many restaurants, be they Italian, French or Georgian, have a separate sushi menu.
Amore pizza. You could be forgiven for thinking these guys are pizza specialists.

Make mine a classic Margarita and salmon skin roll combo….
Here is a cow. He lives in the centre of Odessa and gets the occasional makeover. Here he is in his spring look.
We also went hat shopping…
And got a personal tour of some of the beautiful architecture from the lovely Ariadne.
And I took pictures of some random cats and birds… go me.
Something else took me by surprise over the last few days. I had been thinking and praying about how to share faith outside of church, and frankly was feeling a bit daunted. I mean, I know how it is to be weirded out by over-zealous Christians brandishing “good news”. Then, out of nowhere, numerous people (colleagues, students) started conversations with me about how they came to believe in God and how important their faith is for them. It was just so great to have these conversations and to feel less alone in this task. And the timing- spot on once again.
Amazing.
Trains are booked for a trip to Crimea in a couple of weeks, and trains and planes for Belarus at the end of the month. Belavia promises to be an excellent airline experience…
On the bus today one of my favourite cheesy pop songs came on the radio : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mV5xJT7BnzE
The song is about wanting to fly away from Borispol airport in Kiev to the beauty of Provence in the south of France. Having given up the opportunity of working in Nice to come here, I was half expecting to share the singer’s sentiment by this point.
How wrong I was 🙂 
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