понедельник, мая 29, 2006

Goings on

I realized I haven't posted about what's going on with me in quite a while. My apologies.

This weekend was great. Saturday I took Alana out to lunch. It was a nice day--not too hot, and we did some shopping for folks back home (Whitney and Erin being the main beneficiaries this time). Alana even helped a man use his ATM card for the first time. Then I played baseball with Hillaray and Noah's students for a few hours showing them that one outfielder really isn't enough when I'm up to bat.

Sunday, Alana, Jon and I went to Topar (a lake about an hour out of Karaganda) with a dozen students of theirs. We played in the water, ate shashlik, threw a football, ate shashlik, threw a frisbe, ate shashlik--you see the pattern. I've had a ton of protien in the last few weeks since all the shashlik stands are opening up. Andrei (who's hugeness I didn't truly appreciate until I tried to get my arms arond him from behind playing keep away) did most of the cooking. But instead of burgers, coleslaw, potato salad, chips, and fruit, we had a tomato/cucumber salad with tons of dill, potatoes from the fire, bread and meat. And wine, beer and water. Luckily we couldn't see the smokestacks from where we were on the beach... and the smoke was white, so I could pretend it was clouds. We shared the beach with two other groups--a busload of kids (8th grade maybe) and a dozen Chechen dudes.

The Chechnyans (I have no idea how to say it right) were a friendl bunch, giving us their extra burn shashlik and some wine. The one guy I talked to asked the usual questions in the usual order: 1) Where are you from? 2) What's your name? 3) Where do you work? 4) How do you like the women here? (tied for #4 is why is Bush such an asshole? This in turn brings to light a wonderful paradox one finds in older CISer's minds--Stalin=great leader, Bush=idiot)

Anyway, they let me get by with an "I don't know" to #4, as I'm not so good in the future tense in Russian and I don't know how to explain (in Russian) engagement, celibacy and monogamy wich are all foreign concepts. One of them was either insane, drunk or possesed. Or maybe some combination of all that. The rest of the group kept egging him on to try different stunts (flips, handsprings, etc), all of which failed miserably. But he gave a vailiant, screaming effort.

It is the traveler's illusion that he is the only outsider as only half of us in the beach were from Kazakhstan. I've met people from India, Gerogia, Chechnya, Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Ireland, Canada and the US without even trying this year.

Yesterday was Alana and I's four month engagement anniversary as well. It was also our last Sunday night in Karaganda. Our train leaves Karaganda next Sunday afternoon, so it's crunch time with packing and everything. It's also getting harder to sleep at night, given the stress that's building up and the warmth of the weather.

Okay: final test today, grading tonight and then I'm basically done with classes.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Анонимный said...

hey bro, got the 2nd splinter cell. it's pretty sweet, you'll have to play it when you get home.
tux measurements coming shortly, see you soon

jacob

6:10 ДП  

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