Happy Birthday to me
I'm 24 today.
Oral is out of the steppe, and there are lots of trees. It was never, probably never will be a forest, but still, there are a lot of trees. They are all yellow right now, and it smells like fall. I took the bus into the city (Uralsk/Oral)last Wednesday night to hang out with some volunteers until my taxi came (to take me to the airport, Almaty). A bus the size of a large minivan will fit about 12 people usually, and then, with standing-room only, up to 17. It can be an incredible experience. Only women were on this bus - two who weren't Kazakh, and the rest were. They were all very well dressed, as women are here, wearing the ubiquitous spike-heeled boots and black leather jackets. It had started snowing pretty hard, and visibility was low. Apparently, bus drivers don't care very much about whether bridges are icy or not. So we sped right over the Oral/Zhayiek river and stopped on the Europe side to pick up a couple of old ladies who had been gathering things by the river. One had a purple tam-o-shanter and a bucket of berries. The other had an armful of daisy-type-flowers. The woman with the bucket put it right on another lady's foot, and got scolded. The woman with the flowers kept whapping people in the face with them whenever she turned her head. So the bus smelled like snow and daisies and blackberries. I got off at a stop called Skolnika and walked a couple blocks to the apartment, where we all had tea.
So, one morning when I was flossing, half of a tooth fell out, and now I'm in Almaty for a week having a root canal. Blagh. I have to call a lot of people who don't speak English to let them know where I am and to fish for a place to sleep. Sigh. Hope it works. Meanwhile, the warm weather changed, and it's raining and about 50F. In Uralsk, when I left, it was snowing pretty hard.
I've moved, and now I'm at a fancy gymnasium with everything state-of-the art. I'll be teaching Biology and English. But this means that my old address won't work. Please send everything to this new address (and if the Russian doesn't work out, I've heard English will.)