- 8 July 1999
After arriving in town around 10 p.m., we walked to the Sapporo Hotel, a joint venture with the Japanese, where we ate Russian food. Funny, but none of the Russian hotels serve Russian food, instead opting for Chinese or Japanese. The tourists in town prompt demand, not the locals – since most cannot afford to eat out away from home.
We began with a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers and garlic. Then I ate a pork chop, which was nothing to write home about. Jim ate fish and finished every morsel before I could taste. We drank Asahi beer knowing this was probably the last time to enjoy it. During the evening, a band played very loud music and a few people danced. Loud music is requirement for a ‘nice’ restaurant in Russia. Jim and I joked that perhaps we should pay the band not to play versus the others who paid for a requested song.