Happy Columbus Day! Funny, but they didn’t have a festival in the main square to celebrate the day for us. Harumph. Today was another pleasant day in the hamlet of TaldyKorgan. After our breakfast of boiled eggs, kasha(oatmeal) with apples, and yogurt, we picked up Melanie at the BH. We had an appointment to meet with the lady from the Ministry of Education, just to see how things were going. David and I waited across the street from her building, near the war monument, while Aida went inside to fetch the official. Shortly, she came out and met us in the park, and we had an informal discussion right there. How many times have we visited? How are things? I can see you are well attached to her. I wish you well. Aida commented how I had studied Russian and Russian literature in college; don’t know if that got us any bonus points. I did rave about how much I had enjoyed the Ilias Dzhansugurov museum.
Aida’s daughter Saida was with us again, and she pushed Melanie around in the stroller for a while in the park. We brought Melanie back to the BH, and came home for a long rest. I am suffering a little from Delhi Belly, as we affectionately call it in my family, so I’m a little under the weather. David ventured out to the grocery store again … I think he is on a first name basis with the ladies there now.
This afternoon we took Melanie to the Lenin Park. It is way out on the outskirts of town; guess that sums up how they all feel about old Vladimir Ilyich these days. The park itself was pretty run-down, even though it’s called “Heroes Park" The enormous statue of Lenin used to be in the main square, before perestroika, but now he’s been relegated to virtual obscurity in a weedy, litter-strewn park. And yet, Aida was telling us, they consider him a genius, in that he was able to change so much for the Russian people who were suffering so much under the czars. It wasn’t his fault, after all, that the people who came after him ran the country into the ground. A matter of good planning, poor implementation.
We stopped by and bought Melanie a new pair of boots (tufli) to wear if it ever gets cold here! All we brought was tennis shoes.
Back at the BH, we watched some older children play a Kazakh version of “ring around the rosy” (and David joined in too!) I was trying really hard to get a photo of Melanie and Oxana, the little girl going to Spain, but it was a wasted effort. Neither one would sit still for more than a nanosecond.
Tonight we’re hunkered down close to home. Maybe we’ll watch another Western. No more girly movies, shucks. As they say in Catalonia, “Adeo!” (I’m learning so much from our friends Joan and Lourdes!! And it’s pronounced ‘zho-an’)