topum (topum) wrote,

Vodka, gold and hava nagila

One of the last times I flew to Moldova for a meeting I went to the ministry straight from the airport for what turned out to be an almost six hour session. The guys picked me up from the ministry afterwards (in the evening) and instead of driving to the village we went to one of our volunteers' place in the capital (where the ministry is) because we had to make some changes to the project documents and send the new versions to the ministry by 7AM next morning (we used his place as our Chisinau 'office' more then once before).

When we arrived we got on our laptops and started working right away. Our host (a young Russian dude, who lives alone) asked me if I wanted some food since I was in the meeting / in the air all day and offered to make us some sandwiches.

Moments later this plate landed on the table next to me "here is your sandwich":

Not quite what I thought it would be. This was a generously buttered slice of bread with a thick layer of fresh salmon roe on top obviously. Turned out his aunt in the village baked fresh bread and made fresh butter that day and brought some for him and his cousin came from somewhere deep in the north-east of Russia and brought him half a bucket of salmon roe. The salmon roe might not look like much but it was incredibly good. I thought that the open sandwich was awesome and I liked it a lot (but then I like and can easily enjoy most of the edible stuff).

When one of the other volunteers (an Israeli guy who was born in Moldova but was taken to Israel when he was 11) who attended the meeting at the ministry with me saw those open sandwiches he got excited, ran to his bag and pulled this out:

A bottle of Kosher "Hava Nagila" vodka. He then looked at us looking all guilty and said "this is for when we are done, guys". What the guys didn't know was that I had one of these (which I bought for fun in Singapore where I took this photo) in my bag:

Russian "Royal Dragon" vodka with 23 carat gold leaf.

It took us about three hours to finish the project docs and send them off and then we killed both bottles (with more of those open sandwiches) and arrived at the village in a cab at dawn.
Tags: israel, moldova, russia, vodka
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