|Any shop worth its salt will have many versions of canned |
fish. This photo is from 2017 in an "open aisle" shop.
|This brand new building is a collection of shops,|
with a supermarket on the basement floor. Many
of the shop spaces are still vacant. There is good
seismic engineering visible inside.
Since I arrived this winter, I have gone shopping a number of times, mostly just for groceries, which are relatively easy to shop for. While it's easiest for me, a not-very-good Russian speaker/listener/reader, to shop at a supermarket with open aisles and shelving--thus no one waiting while I try to decipher if I am buying shampoo, conditioner, gel, or something else (it's easier than Japan for me, at least I can read the letters of cyrillic). Dish soap or laundry soap or dishwasher soap (my flat in 2017 has machines for washing laundry and dishes!).
|The Krushchyovsky-type apt building that|
the shop "Maria" is in has a relatively
new facade. I thought I took a picture
of the interior, but it's not on my camera...
I am not very good at snagging shots.
The nearest shop to my flat is "Maria," a standard one-room, behind-the-counter place near the institute. First time I went in this year, I wanted apples and asked for "apelseen" which are oranges! Oh well, I pointed and got what I wanted. Today I went in here after failing to find eggs at several other shops, and sure enough, "Maria" had them. Even though the "rent" at these shops should be small, there is still an economy of scale, so that these small shops are quite like our convenience stores, with higher prices. At the nearby bus stop there is now a compact, open-aisle 24-hour market packed into a narrow space. I bought laundry soap there for
|This convenience store, near my nearest |
bus stop, is open 24 hours.
|The "W" looking letter is "sh" in Russian|
and "C" is "s" for that's Shamsa's name
at the right. The sign in black top center
says "rive gauche" in Russian! BTW,
most of these cars are used, from Japan,
with wrong-side driving for Russia...
|Shamsa from the second floor of mall. |
This "half" is mostly non-consumables
but lacks key items (see blog). So many
choices, urrah for capitalism!?
|A "spice rack" to choose from--|
one of several in a single shop.
One of my most favorite Kamchatka foods/treats is brusnika -- known as lingonberry, or tundra cranberry; it is smaller with more intense flavor than bog cranberry. So upon arrival I bought some frozen brusnika and made my own jam for bread and for muesli/kasha. You can buy lots of frozen items in shops, of course they are easiest to keep in winter, just put them in the snow or in a box outside your kitchen window. You can buy frozen blini, pelmeni, ...
|Brusnika upper right, pelmeni lower left.|
|Lots of frozen goodies to choose from.|
So--what were my challenges this time in shopping? Three items eluded me -- a thumb drive (I forgot mine!), a nail clipper (ditto), and a coffee grinder--I brought beans from Moscow Starbucks... I found the thumb drive first, but not before some failures. Finally, I located a large electronics store in the basement of one of the new, multi-story malls. But I didn't know the word for thumb drive, and my dictionary is older than thumb drives. I tried to explain "small memory" (like memory stick), then figured to say "oo ess bay" and he responded, "ah, flash" -- that's it! Too many words for those little suckers.
Coffee grinder. First I found an appliance store at Shamsa, but it only had fancy, 7000-ruble grinders (more than $100). Then Tanya sent me to "8 kilometers" which is one of the wholesale bases for the city of Petropavlovsk, even since Soviet times, and where there was a large indoor store of home goods. Nothing doing. Electric kettles, egg beaters, simple blenders,...
But at another applicance store where I struck out, a helpful man told me to go to
|At the gipermarket druzba--the whole|
top row is coffee-bean grinders.
|My receipts for the coffee grinder,|
photo taken later, at home.
Still don't have a nail clipper, my toenails are going to destroy all my socks soon...
Below are a few more photos of representative shopping here.
|A fairly typical street kiosk, this one selling cheese ("ciir" an impossible'|
word for me to pronounce, the "i" is soft)
|I took this for the sign, which transliterates "Lady Big"|
|A pharmacy (aptyeka) -- even "over the counter" medications are behind the counter here.|
|A kind of "home depot" -- everyone is either renovating or building here.|
|An outdoor, smaller wholesale shop at 8 km. Anyone can buy here.|
And you can commonly buy smaller amounts. So many different ways to buy!
[that's my January midday shadow]
|Agrotek is the local company making kielbasa. Buy local!|
|This little shop specializes in sweets--candy, caramels, cookies, ...|
|At 8 km, there are a few places to buy hot food, this one is an "Uzbeki kitchen"|
|Another one of the aisles of Svarog in its current configuration (see above).|
|Today I found this specialty shop for coffee and tea, near Shamsa. |
But no coffee grinders!
|I took this photo for Megumi Sugimoto. This shop, |
specializing in beauty products, is named "Megumi"
|One more view of a row of "traditional" little shops at 10 km. |
Note that "traditional" mostly still means post-Soviet.
But I'll ask my colleagues for more about that.