Friday, August 17, 2012


I’m a pretty optimistic guy, and I think this occasionally complicates my life. Peanut butter complicates my life too. When I put the two of them together, I should know I’m headed for a fall.

My readers know that I like peanut butter, and that I go to some lengths to keep a supply of it here in Belarus. I had a pretty good stash built up until recently because I bought a bunch of it when we were in Vilnius and then I supplemented my supply with three jars of Trader Joe’s crunchy almond butter when I last visited the States. I stacked those three jars of almond butter one above the other and rolled them up in a cardboard tube. This apparently caused some concern for the transportation safety people in San Francisco, who took my bag aside and inspected the contents. I got my stuff, but it arrived a day late and I’m not sure whether to blame the inspectors or the French. In any case, my stash looked pretty good as recently as a month ago.

Feeling flush, we even gave away some of the Lithuanian peanut butter. Then somebody noticed that I’d lost a little weight and I decided to go back to my caloric habits and eat nut butters more often. I’m consuming it quickly, and will run out before we leave.

I got pretty excited, then, when I noticed a big store called Preston Maximus over on the other side of town. My Lithuanian peanut butter came from a bigger version of the same store, called MaXXimus. There’s also a 3-X version of the store in Vilnius. The 2-X and 3-X guys sell peanut butter, but the 1-X stores don’t. Still, I had hopes for the local Preston Maximus because it looked so big. I looked them up on the internet to figure out how to get back there.

What-ho! Preston has three stores, and one of them is so important that it’s open 24 hours a day. I figured that this certainly implied exotic things, and I went to that one today. It would have been easy to reach in a taxi, but I took the tramway and then a long walk. I carried an empty backpack and high hopes. Unfortunately, however, all I took back was disappointment. This 24-hour store sells more wine than anything else. I asked the clerk about peanut butter and she said they had it. Unfortunately, the Russian word for butter is the same as the word for oil, and I have no appetite for peanut-oil sandwiches. I walked through the store and photographed everything so you can see it for yourselves. I got the whole store in three photographs, two of which are worth posting below.
Main area in Preston Supermarket

Preston produce section

I can wait. I know where to buy peanut butter in Boston.

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