Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Dip Into Eastern Europe

During a Sunday afternoon, we found a little hole in the wall that made me momentarily I was back in Eastern Europe. Sitting on a flimsy white chair in Julian’s (925 North Olden Ave; Trenton, NJ; Tel: 609.656.1600), looking at the knick-knacks scattered along the walls, listening to the beat of Russian pop and waiting ages for a server to attend us, even though we were the only customers, brought me back into the experience of eastern European travels. No matter that I sat across from my husband, our baby was crawling on the tabletop (no one was watching) and a bail bond shop was next door. I was suddenly back in my twenties, sitting in a small dive cafĂ©, ordering a $4 meal in a foreign language and feeling invigorated by the way I had to think about everything I did. Yes, the gigantic fried potato pancake, topped with beef goulash and sides of shredded beets and carrots sat like a brick in my stomach. But our entire bill was under $20 (how often does that happen?), we left stuffed, and I felt momentarily transported to another time and place.

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