Trip to Rostov on Don, Southern Russia

I went around the world for food, friends and fun: first Southern Russia, to Rostov on Don.

Back in March, I met a nice couple on a plane going from Rangoon to Nagapali, in Myanmar (formerly Burma). I spoke with a gentleman who was next to me. He showed me pictures of his dogs, his house and his truck. I found out that his name is Vladimir and his wife is Svetlana. They invited me to visit their home in Russia.

So, 6 months later, I am flying to Russia via France, to visit my mother who fell in her kitchen. She is 90 years old. She lives alone, does her light shopping, and cooks her own meals. After my visit with my mother, I took the train from Tours to go directly to Roissy Airport. But the train suddenly stopped in the middle of the wheat fields. “Broken down for an hour,” said the controller.

I was going to miss my train for Moscow.

Soon, cabs arrived for the stranded passengers. I jumped in one and told the driver to go fast. We arrived in good time but I could not find my wallet—so I could not pay the taxi driver! I told him to trust me; I gave my business card, my mother’s address and phone number, and so on…

He let me go. I arrived in front of the Air France reception desk and quickly told them my story; kindheartedly, they gave me a seat in first class!

I had no money, no credit cards, but I had my passport. I transferred to another plane to Rostov and I arrived at 11:30 pm. My friends were waiting for me. The next day, I immediately went to an American Express office to ask for cash to be wired.

I stayed at the grandmother’s house. We spoke in Russian with the help of the dictionary for the necessary everyday vocabulary.

She has a big house in the outskirts of Rostov, near the river Don and near her daughter’s house. She has many cats. She prepares her meals outside in the summer kitchen and cooks delicious separate meals for the cats and the kittens, such as brain stews, braised livers and so on …

We had our breakfast together. Mine was coffee (I bring my own decaf espresso and my own Italian coffee maker) toast, fruit and yoghurt. She had tea, ham and cheese and toast and fruit and sometimes a hot porridge of some sort.

We cooked our dinners in Svetlana’s outdoor summer kitchen.

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