Crimean time

The Mini-Market

In some parts of the world a Mini-Market is called a Convience Store and some of these are open 24 hours per day. The Mini-Markets in Simferopol are just a wee bit different, and some close at 6pm, others at 8pm, still others at 11pm, and ever so often I may find one that remains open 24 hours.

My first experience with a Mini-Mart was only a 3-5 minute walk from Sasha's Apartment. His Mom, Nina, called it The Super Market, and she would really roll her R's as she said Super Market. Gosh, it was so much fun visiting this particular Mini-Market, because of a cute little brunette who worked there. They spoiled me at The Moscow Hotel by speaking fluent English, and then again Sasha spoiled me by his complete understanding of American English. So, upon entering this Mini-Market, I did not speak a word of Russian, other than Das Vedanya, and being able to say goodby is not going to fill an empty stomach!!!

While awaiting my turn, under the quene system, I would make my selections, and then the cute little brunette would approach me to ask what I wanted. Yep, it's a very good thing that I "do not" speak Russsian, and I would just smile and point to the various items, and hold up two, or three fingers, or more, if I wanted more than one of any item. The Brunette had the prettiest smile, and knowing that I did not speak, nor understand Russsian, she would total my bill on a hand held calculator, and then show me the amount due.

She was so very happy whenever I could give her the exact change from the coins in my pocket, and just to make her happy, I'd collect as many coins during the day as posssible, because I knew that I would see her again the next morning. As I learned how to say a few words in Russian, I was always anxious to try them out as I visited this Mini-Market each morning. Then one dark and stormy morning tradgedy struck! I entered the Mini-Market and there was a whole new crew. My cute little brunette was no where to be found. Perhaps someday in the not too distant future, I shall see her again as I venture into another Mini-Market in Simferopol, and my Russian will be flawlesss!!!

Well, enough about my broken heart, and dreams about endless days of romance, passion and bliss with this cute little brunette. Perhaps I should tell you what types of products are available in most Mini-Markets. The Mini-Markets in Simferopol carry a vast assortment of beer, liquor, chocolates, candy, cookies, cheeses, deli-meats, multitudes of sausages, chicken, fish, and salads, plus milk, cereal, and a few items I don't really feel comfortable mentioning to an International Internet audience.

There is a Mini-Market near my new apartment attended by a very nice redhead who understands my Texas American English, however she absolutely refuses to allow me to purchase any other beer than Obolone!!! Whenever I want a beer or two, I enjoy trying the different kinds of Ukrainian Beer, because not only do I enjoy a well brewed beer, variety really does add an additional spice to everyday life. Perhaps the redhead wants me to win some of the $200,000.00 dollars the Obolone Brewing Company is offering as prizes for purchasing their beer. Just the other day I WON!!! Yep, I won a dollar!!! Yippie!!! Now I can buy two more beers!!!

I keep wondering if I continue to visit the redhead at this particular Mini-Market, if there is a slight chance of possibly winning more than "one dollar" and winning enough money to visit every Mini-Market in Simferopol and somehow finding my cute little brunette!!! Shucks, a life without hope for everlasting eternal love, and a great selection of beer at the Mini-Market is no life at all!!!

Joe K. Roberts

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