SHE WAS COMING towards us with a broad smile, proffering a plate of golden round buns. She said they were meat pies, as if to explain to the army of muddied helpers – young and old, from all backgrounds – that they were good to eat. ‘Piroshky,’ I called to my team of friends and volunteers as we crowded around ‘Nataschka from Wynnum’. Soon this delicious gift of fragrant, still-warm Russian meat dumplings was gone. We paused, greedily eyeing the nearly empty plate, but Nataschka just laughed and pointed to her husband, standing in the middle of the road we know as The Corso with a trolley of plastic boxes filled with more piroshky.
One friend held back. Chris asked if there were any vegetarian piroshky, but Nataschka had none. This wasn’t a new dilemma for Chris, as she had taken a vegetarian pledge forty years ago – so, sadly, her volunteering effort went unrewarded. My dietary resolve was nowhere near as robust, and I accepted sandwiches and barbecued sausages wrapped in blankets of bread as well as the delicious Russian offerings.
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