Well the adventure just never stops. Dmitri, Alexander and myself headed down to the city center this afternoon.
There are plenty of shops and things to do and as the weather gets warmer, I was assured the place actually comes alive. (I should hope so!)
The central shopping area was pretty vacant save for a few venders selling their paintings

So far no real "bad" encounters. Last night I had walked down by the ocean and I think the guy wanted me to light his cigarette, but he kept looking over my shoulder and I could hear footsteps further down the ramp coming towards me. Maybe he did need a light for his cigarette, maybe not. At any rate, I did not have matches or a lighter so I told him "EZ-vee-neetya, ya nee peeny-MAYO" (Sorry, I don't understand) and walked around him. A little further up the ramp I could hear whoever it was talking to the gentleman that had stopped. Better safe than sorry
(Don't start nothing, won't be nothing)

So this afternoon, I met up again with Kristina. We took a cab to the City Center again we walked and talked for a few hours. We stopped at a pizzeria that touted it had the best Chicago Style pizza..........anyone want to lay some bets? The pizza was o.k......but it certainly was not "Chicago Style"..... more on the lines of an International House of Pancakes Pizza.
However, it was positively delicious!

Tonight out of sheer luck I had run into Yulia (Julia) and we hooked up for dinner (we had met before via email and phone conversation). She definitely was not the person I had originally been talking to, she went total vegetarian tree hugger on me (yes yes save the environment, but don't push it on me GAD go eat a bush!) This is where I have to say that when you need an interpreter.....please screen.
I was locked more into a battle of wits and goverment policy with the interpreter than in an interesting rapport with Yulia! Interpreters.....you can't shoot em.... besides they're furring bearing and I think you need a permit.

Tomorrow should prove to be more interesting, Kristina is stopping by for breakfast and from there we will be going to the local flea market.

Just a few things about the language, it is inundated with the sounds of "KA", "SZH" (like the sound in vision), "PA", "STA", and rolling R's follwed by L's. However if you get the people to talk slow enough you can pick out words like "Systema", "programmitza", "tawlet", "shtool" (chair), and my favorite "Sploona" which was a great joke trying to teach Kristina English. The word was supposed to be "Spoon" but she pronounced it as "Sploona" which..... means to vomit.

My cousin asked me to give her a quick rundown on the food. Hmmmm I did not think I was going to like it but Borscht is very tasty, it is a beet, onion and small bits of beef soup with either a beef or chicken base, It had a slightly Italian flavor to it, almost like a very light spaghetti sauce. We also had Pelmeni (or Pirogi, not sure which) I believe, which is the state dish of the Ukraine. Simply put is a wad of dough stuffed with mashed potatoes and then steamed until cooked. Granted this paints a picture of wall paste flavoring but they had a sauce that was put over the top of it that had a slightly pickle flavor to it with cooked mushrooms and onions (very tasty!) The flavor very resembled a watered down sauerkraut.

All of the food I tasted their was positively excellent and all was served with a gourmet flair. Garnishes, drizzled cheese or chocolate, excellent excellent excellent.