Friday, January 11, 2008

Babyshkas on Street Corners

Raspberry jam for you? Or fresh, cooked beets – ready to peel and eat? How about pickled onions and cucumbers, homemade coleslaw or spicy tomato sauce? Russian BAB-ysh-kas, or grandmothers, are often on street corners selling food stuffs in hopes of making a few extra rubles. These hearty souls come prepared to spend the day outside in the cold.


Oh great, this lady has walnuts for sale. In the market kiosks they run maybe 50 rubles ($2) a glass but they're bound to be cheaper here. And I always need walnuts for baking muffins.

Did you shell them yourself?

Oh of course! They’re so fresh and tasty.

And they're really clean - no little bits of shell? For how much?

Oh of course, I go through them very carefully. They’re 35 rubles a glass but for you, 30 rubles.

I need three glasses. Well, let’s make it five.

You wouldn’t need any canned sweet peppers do you? They're really tasty and so good for you.

4 comments:

Kyle & Svet Keeton said...

Hi, Eileen!

Thank you very much for your kind article. We always enjoy your attitude about life and things around you.

We buy things from our local babushkas too. That's always pleasure to have conversation with them :).

Take care.
Svet and Kyle

Tammy said...

Eileen,
We've not met, but I read your blog. I am an American missionary in Ukraine. Your stories are (obviously) very close to mine. I personally always buy from the babushkas out in the cold- and always buy more than I need, too- just to help them out. Thanks for showing life in Rostov. It's interesting.

Eileen said...

Hey Kyle and Svet, Wonder if the babyshkas in your neighborhood are anything like the babyshkas in mine. They're so nice and they really do appreciate the business. Do you folks live near central Moscow...or in one of the outlying areas?

Hello Tammy, thanks much for your comments. Nice to meet up with another worker. I'd be interested to know where you are in the Ukraine. I plan to head toward Donetsk around Feb 1st and then back to Rostov ASAP. It's part of re-registering Russian visa, something we get to do every 6 months. Anyway thank you for stopping by and saying *preevyet!*

Kyle & Svet Keeton said...

Hi, Eileen!

Yes, babushkas in Moscow are the same like in Rostov. They are nice and kind. They give you a price what you even don't know how they can make any business with such price. Recently, I bought a pair socks from a babushka twice cheaper than they offer on the market... I really think that is more like hobby for them, they go on the street like in club - to see people, to discuss things ;).

Our babushkas are living the same district of Moscow where we live. We call such districts bed-district (place where you go to sleep :)).

Best wishes,
Svet and Kyle