Friday, February 04, 2011

The Hunt for Red October

My attempts to ingratiate myself to the staff of Kalinka, our local Russian grocer, have invariably been met with Cold War suspicion.

Seriously. I might do just as well to slip on a Ronald Reagan mask for my next visit. My smiles are repaid with glares, my English with Russian, and my Hugh Grant-politeness with sleepy-eyed disdain. Still—I don't know why—I persist. I want the Russians to like me. Badly.

A few weeks ago I went in looking for Red October chocolate, having been told something of its deliciousness. However, not being fluent in cyrillic, and not being familiar with the packaging, I was at a loss. I asked the bear-trap of a lady behind the counter if they had any in stock.

"No," she said, "maybe next week, or week after. Next shipment. Maybe."

OK, I thought, I will return. And today, true to that inner resolve, I did.

However, upon examining the stock, I soon realised I was looking at the exact same offering of a few weeks previous.

I asked the woman (a different one this time) if they had any Red October chocolate. She did not understand me. I asked again. Nothing. I asked again (this time with a hint of Russian accent, which no doubt sounded more Italian than anything else). Nothing.

Enough, I thought, I want to try some Russian chocolate. So I bought one of the bars I had seen last time, the one with a peasant girl on the front.

Once home, I searched the inter-web for a picture of Red October chocolate—sure enough, up popped Peasant Girl.

Russians. don't. share. food.

Which is fair enough—I can understand that.


Sweet Olive Press | Helen said...

It's a shame you can't get a t-shirt printed in cyrillic:

Although it does sound like surly and stone-faced is the default position...

Shell said...

That is a brilliant idea for a shirt. I double-dare you.

gerrod said...

And the chocolate tasted.... ?

Jules said...

interesting. (And that's not being euphemistic.) Definitely different to any other chocolate I've tasted, which was unsettling at first, but it grew on me.

Nick said...

lol ... brilliant story dude :-)

aubain said...

You should open up an Australian shop next door and wait for the day when she wants to buy some Tim Tams. The revenge will be sweet!

No pun intended.

OK, pun intended.

Jules said...

Maybe. Perhaps we should ask Tajikstan and Georgia what it's like to set up shop next to the Russians.