I came home by taxi at about 9:30, after waiting 30 minutes for a bus. I wasn’t thinking about how things might have changed in a day – the firm-packed snow had turned into sludge, and we fishtailed at about 10k/h through my neighborhood. I came into the house, where Kanipa Apa was very, um, cheerful, doing something on the kitchen table that involved dirt, half-boiled noodles, and an old apron (over the noodles and under a pile of dirt.) I came in with one boot on and one boot off, because the zip of the boot zipper had broken off. “What’s wrong?” she asked, in a sing-song voice. “Your zipper?” “Yes,” I said. “It’s broken.” “It’s broken,” she repeated as if it were a nursery rhyme. She wobblingly knelt down in front of me and began to try to rip the zipper by main strength. “No, I need something for this little hole,” I said, and showed her the pin-sized hole where the zip used to be. “A knife!” she said, with relish. I quickly hopped away from her and found a safety pin, but my haste was unnecessary as she had moved on to other things. I have a feeling she’ll sleep well tonight. I hope the seeds she planted in the apron make it, too.
As the people I was celebrating with were running between Mahabbat and Bolat’s apartment and Aitgul’s upstairs apartment, I came across a neighbor standing in the doorway in a fur coat and a hat that didn’t match at all (people don’t worry about matching their clothes, but you can bet that their hats, coats and boots will coordinate). I mistakenly thought she was trying to speak to me. I wished her a happy Women’s Day, but then it became clear that she was singing something. She shuffled out the door, giggling a little, and walked down the steps like a cowboy.
Today (March 8) was Women’s Day, a big holiday which is probably not celebrated the way a feminist would wish: women are mostly praised for their beauty, given pink cards with wishes for health and love, watch Titanic at 10:00 (this year, at least,) and get very drunk both alone and in groups. The men get drunk, too. A student told me that men get drunker on Women’s Day than on Men’s Day (and how on Earth would they measure that?). Which is something to think about.