The time stamp on these blog posts are in US Central Time, not Russia time. It's 6am Sunday morning here.

We had lunch the other day with Nancy, Joel, Vika and Liena at a Western-themed restaurant called The Horseshoe down the street from the hotel. I ordered some sort of goulash and a salad that Vika said was a traditional Russian dish. I should've known by now that it was basically beet salad. But it was not bad. I commented that the only time I've ever liked beets was in Russia. Vika said it must be my new surroundings that have made me like beets. I don't plan on ever eating them again back home, but they're not bad over here. I paid for Vika's and Liena's lunch that day, then Vika's and Galina's lunch yesterday. They all hesitated when I offered, until I reminded them that there's no chance of it looking improper now that the court date is over and we've been approved.

Today, Russia votes for a new president. I'm not even sure who's running, but everyone seems to like the guy who Putin hand-picked as his successor. I think that they genuinely like him. Ignore the American media that tries to make Putin out to be a dictator. He's actually turned this country around and taken it away from the Russian mafia (“oligarchs”) that took over when Communism fell. Most of those oligarchs have run away to England, America and Israel.

Last night, I dreamt about paperwork. Actually, it was a nightmare. 🙂

My Russian speaking is getting better. I can tell people that I don't speak it, but now several of those same people have told me that I speak it very well. I couldn't actually understand their words, but I inferred from their body language and facial expressions that they were complimenting me. Vika's translation confirmed that. Now, I just need to learn to carry on a conversation with Elizabeth. That's the key to breaking the ice with her, which we have to do for a few minutes every time we visit. She gets a day off from us today, so that she can go vote. 🙂

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