Recently I went to Children's World in far north Rostov to pick up some things for the orphanage. Later, en route the McDonald's nearby, I happened upon a fellow selling honey on the street. Say care to join me for the excursion? How about I treat you to a Greek Mac for lunch - deal?
First, let me wish you and yours a honey of a new year. By that I mean a sweet and satisfying year rather than a sticky or high calorie year.
Our first stop is Children's World, a store of great appeal to children and especially to their parents, the ones who coming bearing rubles, after all. What a familiar scene this is, parents and kids heading into a store. This could be in Germany or Georgia or even Greater Cleveland.
Service was great in there and if anyone noticed my camera, they never let on. Let's zoom on in for a closer look at the welcome sign.
At the top, Children's World. And at the bottom, Welcome! They had child safety locks in stock, something that the orphanage needed. Service was great and I even managed some pictures of the toy bulls and oxen so popular now, as we begin the Year of the Ox.
Here's the south side of the building and a glimpse of apartment buildings in area.
But oh, here is the view straight south. Oh yeah, my beloved McDonald's. Happens that this one has a drive-through. But on the way, I ran into a Mr Honey.
We had a great conversation and he was happily obliged my need to photograph his jars from every possible angle. Eventually I asked if I could get a picture of him too. He declined but invited me to shoot a frame of honey comb that was in his trunk. So I got that, too.
In the plastic containers is honey in the comb. Favorite delicacy of our hero, John the Baptist. Oh my, I forgot to ask Mr Honey if per chance he had any wild locusts for sale. Still, the shades of gold and amber were beautiful. I asked him why the variety of color.
Color differs according to when the nectar was collected, he said. In the early spring, the bees are busy with fruit trees. Later they're all abuzz with the wildflowers. Mr Honey has hives throughout the area and has labeled jars with the village from which that honey was collected and/or the price in rubles. He's got this down to a fine art.
Moving right along, we come to McDonald's.
Say, ever had a Greek Mac? That's what's pictured above the building here.
And here's a very big, Big Mac, pronounced Beeg Maac - the Russian a is soft, as in father.
And our Greek Mac. These were introduced summer of 2004 when the Olympics were in Athens.
Well I got caught taking this picture. Photography is forbidden here, a manager made a beeline toward me from across the dining area. Her voice was loud and strident and her manner aggressive.
Your menu is just so interesting, I said. She wouldn't have understood anything about my responsibility to you, dear blog reader, had I mentioned that you want and need a glimpse of the menu.
Fortunately she smiled and that was the end of it. She didn't ask me to delete anything. Because if she had, well, I would have been tempted to adjust my lunch plans. . .
But first I managed to capture this sandwich for you, the Chicken Myth. Yummy, sounds Greek too, does it not?
Later that afternoon and out on the street, a large advertisement which covers the entire side of a building.
What jumped out at me was the word, American. Just today I spent some time clarifying this billboard and I must say that I don't expect that I'll be going there any time soon. It says American 'L' Pizza. At the bottom in white, Friendly 'L', then A network of beer sports bars.
Curious as I am about this so-called American L Pizza, think I've got plenty of other places to visit. For one thing, look what else is in the very same complex. . .
Can it be? Can it really be a Subway? Let's zoom on in for a closer look.
Sure enough, Subway sandwiches and salads.