Chita, Russia

  • Date
  • 20 July 1999

Around 8:30 p.m., we went to dinner at the El Dorado, which is the favorite of the locals. A tourist group of 25 or 30 prosperous looking Chinese was there and Jim and I went over and met several of them. Most came from Beijing and Shanghai. There was one table with two Russian men as well. Unbelievably hot, we sat by a window hoping for a non-existent breeze.

For dinner, I ate a cucumber and tomato salad followed by grilled sturgeon on a skewer. The fish arrived overcooked, but the onions and mushrooms cooked along with it were delicious. Jim ate two salads – tomato and cucumber and seafood.

During dinner, three women performed a simply choreographed ‘floor show’ on stage dressed in frilly, pink negligées. The men in the restaurant seemed to love the dance. The Chinese women there liked it too since they all moved to a table closer to the stage. As the night progressed, the costumes became smaller and sheerer. Around 10 p.m., the women took off their tops displaying lean, tomboyish bodies.

This is the ‘good life’ in Chita in 1999.