Home > Uncategorized > Day 3: Dyngus holiday weekend

Day 3: Dyngus holiday weekend

April 18th, 2011

The Russian orthodox christians celebrate Dyngus Day as Verbnoe Voskresenje, or translated (kind of), Pussy Willow Day. This weekend was a really good time to come to Vladivostok as my hosts had time to show me around the city as well as take me to spend an afternoon at their dacha (summer cottage).

On Saturday, we went to the dacha belonging to the babushka (grandmother) of one of my hosts. It was too early for people to be going to their summer cottages yet but we saw the neighbors already sowing some seeds for the spring. The first flowers of spring were pushing through the dirt and I can only imagine how green everything will get in another 2 months or so. We just went to get out of the city and have a lunch of barbecued sausages along with kolbasa, fresh greens (Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber, dill), and preserved vegetables that babushka had made (eggplant, tomato, bell pepper, carrot, and daikon). There was also homemade strawberry jam (from the last season’s fruits grown in the dacha garden) that I ate with a tvorozhnie pryaniki something-or-other (cheesecake cookie with jam inside).

On Sunday, my hosts wanted to take advantage of the quiet in the streets. Vladivostok roads are all under construction and, on a normal day, they’re usually teeming with cars and people. It’s not as crowded as a street in Manila or Delhi but enough to make a 10 minute commute take more than an hour. It seems that, in preparation for the 2012 Asian summit, the “State” is reconstructing ALL the roads and attractions at ALL the same time. Anyway, on Vyerba day, it was relatively quiet, although shops were still open. I’m amazed at the number of small supermarkets that abound in Vladivostok – there seems to be a supermarket every 200 meters. Eugenia made a perfect tour guide, pointing out the sites and history, as we zipped through the city. There was one statue of Lenin.

Here is why you should come to Vladivostok.

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And to make the day even more surreal, it was the 50th year celebration of Yuri Gagarin’s space flight so we caught a few minutes of an outdoor celebration that involved aliens playing with children and Men in Black break-dancing on stage. As if the day wasn’t bizarre enough, I ended it by watching The L Word with a monotone man doing the Russian voice-over for all the parts.

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  1. April 19th, 2011 at 03:24 | #1

    I love that last picture of you!!!

  2. Lets5
    April 19th, 2011 at 04:45 | #2

    Thank you Sandy. The world I’ve never seen , now I see thgrough you is beautiful. I look forward to seeing more.

  3. xg
    April 19th, 2011 at 05:43 | #3

    @Jenny
    Thanks Jenny! It was incredibly windy up at the view point. The funny thing is that it was a big rock just behind a gas station at the top of the hill. Nothing fancy and definitely not a tourist area.

  4. Yasushi
    April 20th, 2011 at 10:55 | #4

    You are so close to Japan !!!

  5. jason
    April 21st, 2011 at 00:15 | #5

    Pussy Willow Day. We should all have such a holiday. :)

  6. Chiaki
    April 22nd, 2011 at 04:20 | #6

    How are you Sandy!!!
    WOW!! You are really in Russia now !?

  7. from SD
    April 22nd, 2011 at 06:25 | #7

    What? Daikon in Russia? I almost forgot that Russia is a part of Asia. hahaha
    I love all the photos of the city but the picture of you is the best. Wink!

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