Monday, October 11, 2004

Bars Do Not a Prison Make

Hidey Ho from Kazakhstan.  We are now well protected from nocturnal projectiles.  Yesterday afternoon they installed metal bars over the windows of our apartment.  We were seranaded by the sound of a jack hammer and welding torch during our afternoon "rest time".  If there is a fire here, we're toast.  There's no getting past these babies, either in or out!


For yesterday afternoon's visit we drove out to the bustling TaldyKorgan airport to see the airplanes.  It was closed.  And there was only one airplane.  Okay, off in the distance there were two camouflaged military jets.  But only one commercial jetliner, parked way off to the side.  We let Melanie run around a bit, until a gruff looking man walked up and basically kicked us out.  I guess we were parked in the white zone and would be towed if we didn't move our vehicle.  We were the ONLY vehicle at the whole place.  Oh well, when in Rome ...


It was another beautiful day here today.  They keep saying the nice weather will end any day now; I’m half expecting to wake up tomorrow to a layer of snow.  Strange since we were peeling off the layers today with a high of 18 C.  (Translation: pretty warm.)  You’ve never seen such a blue sky … or such a bright sun.  I think David half fell asleep on a park bench this morning as Aida and I paraded around with Melanie and Aida’s daughter Saida.  David had to sit and watch all our crap while we got to do the fun stuff with the kids … ha ha.


After lunch today we went shopping on Arbat Street (apparently every Russian city has an Arbat Street which is a shopping mecca) and looked at some nice …er … stuff.  Can’t give too much away.  We bought some “merozhenoi” – ice cream.  We picked up Melanie at 4, and Saida (Aida’s daughter, almost 3) had to go home to change her clothes, so we ended up staying at Aida’s apartment for the afternoon.  We had some nice tea and chocolates, and the kids watched “Little Stuart” in Russian.  It was hilarious.  I think that was Melanie’s first time in an apartment; she looked somewhat bewildered.


Dinner tonight was again at the Hessen Pub with Corey & Christie  (I’ve been spelling their names wrong all along, but they have forgiven me!).  Hessen really has the best food in town.  Last night we tried a restaurant called “Alim” supposedly known for its Lagman.  We discovered, too late, that it’s part restaurant and part disco, and we were sitting right underneath the speakers.  We asked the waitress to turn it down, but some little boy kept coming up and turning it back up.  Several teenaged girls were on the dance floor shaking their stuff to a song whose refrain was “I Like Girls … I Like Girls … HOOWEE!  I Like Girls!” … so I told the waitress we would be having our tea outside.  (Aida later told me that I had told her in my sketchy Russian that we wanted to sit “open” instead of “outside”.  No wonder she looked at me so funny!)  Aida came to pick us up and check our bill to make sure that it wasn’t “exaggerated” for the foreigners.  She is taking very good care of us!!


Stay tuned for the next exciting installment from TaldyKorgan! 

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