Салат з куркою 14/10/2010Posted by brendan in Avions, Trains et Voitures.
Tags: cuisine, hotel khreschatyk, kiev, kyiv, travel, ukraine
Dinner was prepared by cutting slices of cheese on the sewing kit box in our room. There was vodka and there were half-liters of strong Ukrainian beer, but by morning malnourishment sent us scuttling for a late breakfast with eagerness battling dread. What horrors lurked in the sushi-restaurant down a flight of stairs from the poker club doors?
Russian music videos played on a muted flatscreen while legions of uniformed waitresses circled the few remaining tables. There were no steaming bowls of miso or rancid vats of nato amongst the buffet tables. Sweetbreads clustered near the cutlery and meats crowded a sad collection of vegetables. Salad with a chicken? Oatmeal congealed next to a bubbling bin of hotdogs bordered by blintzes. I elbowed staff away from her cabbage tossing.
Janice and I are both vegetarians which made the concept of free breakfast a culinary crapshoot. Thankfully this culture has been so deprived there’s no expectation of bacon and sausage, accompanied only by sprigs of parsley destined for the plate’s edge. My granola pined after plain yogurt instead of the saccharine strawberry slop provided, but it would do. Sugary juices and tea, however, would not.
A girl collected our tickets and mentioned coffee at the counter. Tending bar was a mop-topped guy whose t-shirt read “Please Don’t Feed the Models”. He would wear this every day.
While we crammed whatever nourishment would fit down our throats– we hadn’t exactly had dinner on the train either– Janice entertained herself with eastern pop-culture. I watched a fresh-faced conscript submit papers to the floor-manager who stationed him in the foyer to smile vacantly and collect meal vouchers. Young women met with the manager as well but vanished into various back rooms instead of donning aprons and joining the bored staff. My mind wandered into the poker club, walked through the devastated local economy, revisited websites for female translators where pictures take precedence over qualifications. I was relieved to see them emerge dressed for work as we pocketed oranges to leave.