Best Foodie Souvenirs from Singapore

I have a magnet from Singapore on the fridge, but it doesn’t speak to me. Not one particular memory comes to mind when I look at the piece of plastic shaped as Singapore skyline. On the other hand, a tea spoon of kaya jam revives memories of my first breakfast in the Lion City and…

The Time I Tried the Cheapest Michelin-Starred Meal in the World

Every January I sit down with magazines, scissors and glue to make a wish board. Every January for the past three years I glued a picture of a sophisticated dish on a large white plate to represent a meal at Michelin-starred restaurant. As per visualization law, I imagined myself all dressed-up sitting in a fancy…

Breaking Coconuts Like Nobody’s Business

A few months before my big fat Sri Lankan wedding I learned that according to local traditions one of my male family members had to break a coconut during the ceremony. With a huge knife. At the first try. In front of over a hundred people. The closest my Russian relatives have ever come to…

Where to Try Sri Lankan Food in Colombo

Colombo is rarely on anyone’s radar when visiting Sri Lanka. Travelers arrive to Bandaranaike airport and straight away drive down south to the beautiful beaches or into the Hill Country to see mountains. The capital is left out which I understand full well: Colombo isn’t pretty and there’s not much to do. I would go…

Kitchen Staples: Sri Lankan Edition

I don’t want to sound nosy (which means I will totally sound like it!), but I love peeking into other people’s shopping carts while waiting in line to cashier. Mostly, because in USA people buy a completely different set of products than I do. I’ve been once asked whether I am a vegetarian by a…

The Time I Had Breakfast with Cowboys

My friend recently taught me a game called “one time”. Each person starts a sentence with the words “one time” and continues to describe an odd, funny or outrageous thing he’s done. One time I had breakfast with cowboys. I bet my “one time” beats all the other “one times” pretty bad. How can anything…

Two Strange Things to do in Marfa, TX, and One Famously Delicious

If you are Russian you can’t say the name Marfa out loud and not giggle. Marfa is an old-school Russian name that was popular years ago, but nowadays is only used to describe a country bumpkin or a person who’s done something stupid. The Russian name was reason number one to visit. Reason number two…

8 Reasons to Fall in Love with Terlingua

When I was twenty I thought small towns are the worst. Boring, unamusing and almost lethargic. Give me some of that big city buzz, dirty streets, traffic jams and crowds pushing from all directions. I knew it was bad, but it felt so good. I am heading to 30 and all of a sudden little…

Becoming Texan: Learning to Dance Two-Step

Wearing a cowboy hat makes me feel like I am going to a costume party. I have worn all kinds of hats before, but cowboy hat in particular feels like a strange object on my head. Since I set out to become a true Texan, I better get used to it. The hat wouldn’t bother…