Russki Styl - now that's a cigarette!
It's horrid, to be sure, but what a packet, and what a name: Russian Style. These days, that means "sexy" to me. I'm a fool for all things Russian. This is a wonderfully mind expanding phase that began with the discovery of the old Soviet cartoons, went on to an unplanned visit in St. Petersburg and the backwater of Chudovo and ended with a renewed recognition in the sublime nature of Tchaikovsky's music (which, alas, is still on repeat mode and playing as I write this).
This northern exposure simply had to culminate a good bash. Itka, whose parents are Russian but speaks the language in what I refer to as a "Buzaglo" accent, decided to prove to us all that she's as Russian as dark bread. For her birthday she organized a visit to a Russian restaurant in Rishon Letzion, south of Tel-Aviv. She even rented a VIP minibus to take us there from Allenby St.
Itka instructed us to dress well, and mostly (exept for true blue Rock n' Roll rebel E.B. Dan), we all did, so it was a bit of a surprise to wind up in a industrial complex, climbing through a grungy hallway.
Up on top, however, tables were set brightly for our five course meal. Always on the look out for the exotic, I took a photo of the ever appealing jellied pork's hoof, but there were other offerings too: from crepes stuffed with salmon eggs and with meat to cherry dumplings. The price we paid featured all you can drink vodka and wine.
It also entitled us to a show. First all the lights were turned off, then came the diva.
Then came champagne ("champanska") for all who were celebrating events, including our Itka.
Then we danced.
Then others danced for us. The stars of Television's "Dancing with the Stars" including true celebrity Anna Aronov were performing before us. I sat next to Keren, a Ukranian at heart and a dancer herself, and we both melted. This was nearly as good as the ballet in St. Petersburg. Anna! bear my children!
It was a hard act to follow, but we went for it anyway, shaking our ovefilled stomachs to Russian, Georgian and Israeli Mizrachi music. While I vanished early (2:00 or so) Itka and her friend Itamar actually went on a dancing spree in different corners of the T.A. metropolitan area that lasted until 7:00 AM. Nevertheless, I think all of us deserve recognition for possessing a healthy level of Russki Styl. A night like this instills that in the heart for good.