For all of you who don’t know, my boyfriend, Kevin, is Filipino. Over the past three years of us dating I have picked up on some Tagalog words. One of those words is the word for yes. Now in Tagalog if you say yes to an elder it is pronounced op-o and if you are speaking to anyone else, than you say oh-o. I have realized that all foreign language is melding together in my brain. Breakfast this morning was at a cafe or кофе next to my hotel and when I walked in, this women started to speak to me in Russian about everything that I could order. Well I heard the word for omelette and went for that. As I was confirming what she was saying I had to shuffle through my brain on what language to pick; Tagalog and oh-o, Spanish and sí, Russian and da or American Sign Language nodding my hand. Well I don’t know what came out of my mouth but I  think it was a combination of oh-o and da while nodding my hand in ASL agreement. Needless to say, I have my yes covered in countless languages. 

Here is what I managed to get order for breakfast. Tea, vegetables similar to an Israeli breakfast and an omelet with a hot dog. Kevin, it’s not a red hot dog like you had in the Philippines growing up, but it’s still a hot dog! 

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After breakfast I met up with another new friend named Rosa who brought along Dasha. Rosa works at JDC and works on Jewish Teen Involvement and Dasha is one of her wonderful teens. We began our day with a tour of a very old and beautiful synagogue. It was a Reform synagogue, but is now a Chabad synagogue.

There are only 2 Kosher stores in Saint Petersburg and of course they are both next to this synagogue. We went in and they had some wonderful Israeli treats that we of course had to indulge in. (Yes, Ellen and my Israel friends they had the chocolate with pop rocks in it)

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Next we walked quite a ways away to lunch. We crossed a large river along the way and Rosa wanted to take a picture. Dasha is on the left and Rosa is on the right. There was something really cool behind us, but I wasn’t in charge of the camera so just imagine something cool and Eastern European.

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The restaurant that Rosa had in mind was perfect. It was an Israeli restaurant with all of Israeli’s finest and most delicious foods. I had the incredible Falafel and the others had schwarma. I could eat every meal at this restaurant and be totally content with my life.

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Dasha left us after lunch and Rosa and I carried on. We went down the street to a bar. She told me that we are on the good bar street. She pointed to another street and called that one the marginal bar street where you only go to get really drunk. Noted.

I of course needed my first true Russian drink so the bartender whipped me up an incredible vodka cocktail with a bunch of mystery liquids, apple juice and pomegranate seeds. It was delicious. In true 421 fashion (my JMU apartment) I had to go to the bathroom and take a selfie, so there you go girls.

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We concluded our day at YESOD, the Jewish Community Center, for Shabbat with Hillel. Before their Shabbat service they discussed Sukkot, a Jewish holiday happening right now, and then played English videos of acapella groups singing about Shabbat and Sukkot. Oh and great news! My roommate arrived after her 26 hour long adventure to get here. She is wonderful and actually attends events that my former Rabbi works at. Such a small world.

Another wonderful day in Saint Petersburg! Here is to many more.

Ching Ching (as they say when they clink their glasses)

Robin

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