Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chocolate Room

I saw an article this morning in the Huffington Post, about a chocolate room in a new shopping center not far away from us. The chocolate room would be there until April 14. Noticing that today was the 14th, I freaked out and invited Alla to go there today. I was a month early, but that’s OK. The chocolate is still nice and fresh. In fact, it smells great. Even the art on the walls is painted in chocolate. The floor is chocolate. It’s all ever so appealing.

Clearly, the shopping center’s advertising campaign worked on us. To lure us further, they posted a girl next to the chocolate room inviting us to sign up for a raffle to win a trip to Switzerland. You can only enter the raffle after you’ve spent 150,000 rubles in the shopping center. (Remember, all you Americans, that’s not so hard. It’s well under $20.) We visited all the stores. Since the mall sells mostly imported stuff, the prices weren’t so great. I saw a Nexus 7 tablet, for example, at about twice the U.S. price.

The only way we could in good conscience spend our 150,000 rubles was in the grocery super-store. It had Italian pasta sauce, which we can’t buy anywhere near our apartment. I bought pretty nearly one of each kind, which probably pushed us over the threshold right there. I really wanted to eat their blini, but I’m not sure the ones on display were even real. It’s Maslenitsa this week, and they had a display table at the grocery store’s main entrance, set for two with a huge stack of blini and a bowl of obviously-fake salmon caviar. The fake caviar didn’t impress me, but I will confess that I felt a twinge of temptation as I approached the blini. I’m looking forward to Sunday, when I won’t have to resist temptation at all. Meanwhile, the display table got our digestive juices going and we bought plenty of real groceries.

The chocolate room did its job, and we did ours.

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