The Office Party

David invited the staff from his office to our house for a BBQ on Saturday.  He planned to make beer-can chicken…….. he said there could be 20 people show up.  I have to admit that I go into a bit of a tail-spin if I’m faced with any more than 6-8 people showing up for a meal, unless it is impromptu, and then I can stretch left overs to feed the hoards. It is the planning that makes me crazy.

Well, parties are different  here in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.  Next thing we knew, it was all organized, and all we had to provide was the place, the BBQ and the chicken….. and the dishes, although they offered to bring disposable plates.  Cookies would also be welcome.

About 1 in the afternoon on Saturday,  Katya arrived with salad fixing and the meat…. to go along with the chicken, of coarse.  David hadn’t even arrived home from the office yet, and hadn’t connected the propane to the grill. I had my chicken partially defrosted.  I was working on my New York puzzle, because it was occupying the dining room table, and if i didn’t finish it before it got cleared away, I knew I would never get it out again, as the numbers on the buildings were just too small to decipher.

Room in the refrigerator for the meat and vegetables – check.  Puzzle completed – check.  Here is the puzzle –P1070777

and the view of the skyline as you would enter by boat- before 9-11 –P1070778

and after –P1070781

BBQ connected and ready to go – time for a nap.

People started arriving about 5:30. Natalia commented on my Christmas/New Years tree, and told me that in Russia, as well as having Christmas 12 days later than the West, the Orthodox calendar also celebrates Old New Years – on January 14.  Lucky for me, as I love my tree, and desperately hate to put it all away.  She also told me about the old Soviet glass ornaments of clowns and cosmonauts, and showed me a website with this photo – 

Nothing could have a religious significance, and so there used fruits, pine cones, and figurines.  Many of the had a clip on the bottom to fasten onto the tree branches. A few are now very rare and very expensive.

Here is a website if you want to learn more –

Everyone brought food, and I was basically trying to stay out of the way in my own kitchen.  I like this, as I really only cook because I have to.  it is not a driving passion.

The BBQ worked – Kevin, a new arrival for Halliburton from Louisiana who was experiencing his first ever snow, did the rest while the rest of us prepared salads and got the table set and ready to go. Snacks of nuts and salmon and caviar and beer were consumed. Games were unearthed for Maria’s children, who were quite happy just listening to the conversations and playing with the dog.

Twelve places around the table piled high with food –P1070787 P1070786

great fellowship and wine and conversation – in a mixture of English and Russian.

Snoopy was dressed for the occasion – just a red tie at first, but after we ate, he accepted the whole outfit – for a while.  this is Danil with him – one of the people that dog-sat for us in the summer.P1070792

And then the games began.  TP1070800hey have a Russian game called “Activity”  which is kind of like charades, only you have a choice of acting, telling or drawing to explain to your team.P1070801

Of course it is in Russian, so we non-Russian speakers had to have the words translated for us. It was so much fun – and the children joined in the game.P1070804

It was about 1:30 am when everyone left.  What a wonderful party!  They can plan a party at my house any time.

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2 Responses to The Office Party

  1. Brenda says:

    What fun! And a little info about holiday customs too.

  2. Sue says:

    Looks like a great party. So sad to have missed it. . . I think I could move to Yuzhno!. Seems to be great parties there!!1

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