- 3 July 1999
3 July 1999 – Woke just a couple minutes before breakfast aboard the Vladivostok – the ship carrying us on a 40-hour journey from Japan to Siberia. Promptly on time, the announcement sounded, “The dining room is now open for foreign peoples to have dinner.” The announcement was the same for breakfast (9-9:30 a.m.), lunch (1:30-2:30 p.m.), tea (5-5:30 p.m.) and dinner (8-9 p.m.). The Russians ate an hour before the ‘foreign peoples,’ consisting of 10 Japanese, three Australians, one European and us.
For breakfast, we were first served salami-like, sliced meat and salty cheese that looked like Swiss but didn’t taste anything like it, along with bread and strawberry jam. I opted to try just a piece of the cheese and a quarter piece of bread with jam. Then our server brought out a plate filled with two fried eggs sitting atop a slice of thick white bread and a huge piece of bacon on the side. The meat looked to be 99% fat so I avoided this. I drank coffee – instant Nescafe and Jim drank tea.
Lunch consisted of more salty cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, white bread and borscht soup made from beetroot (this is one of Russia’s most common lunches). I happen to adore borscht, but Jim absolutely hates it since beets are the one food he simply detests. After the soup, the server brought a large plate filled with lightly battered fried chicken, rice and mixed vegetables. I ate only a bowl of soup and bread. Jim ate everything except the borscht. Dessert of vanilla ice cream with a chocolate sauce arrived to my surprise and delight.
Dinner at 8 p.m. More salami-like meat, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables and fried fish that looked like salmon (pink) but instead was Russian red fish, according to our waitress. I ate only the potatoes feeling the sway of the ship and churning motion in my tummy…