Seven TGIF Photos in Almaty

purple-lilacsyellow-tulipsThe Soviet mindset seems to be alive and well in Almaty or maybe something else is happening on a lovely Friday afternoon.  I took photos of the pristine mountains, blooming flowers, lilac trees and then I saw a children’s playground I had never really seen before.  I snapped a photo of a little boy at the top of the slide.  Then I took another of three little kids piled on the top of the slide.

A woman from a group of caretakers called out in Russian asking what I was doing.  I stumbled through my rudimentary Russian to explain I lived in the area and then a woman who was dressed in Muslim garb (head covering) asked me in English, “Why are you taking these pictures?”  This irritated me that I was under suspicion as if doing something sinister after they had probably seen me take photos of the lilacs.  It had been a spur of the moment action when I took two snaps of the children playing in the playground.  I said to her in my stiff and ruffled English, “I take photos of mountains, of trees, of flowers and now I just took photos of these children because I think they are sweet!”  Okay, they let me go with that.

What were they going to do, confiscate my camera?  No way!!!  I thought it odd, would we do the same to someone in the U.S.?  Do these ladies have something to hide or are they ashamed?  What balanced this was seeing a little doggie propped up on our garbage with some fake flowers thrown in for good measure.  Thank God it is Friday, I’ve been around a little bit too much Soviet mentality lately, I’m going to the canyon tomorrow!yellow-tulip-in-red



2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Signe said,

    Is a camera a feared weapon in former Soviet land? You are a harmless little fuzz-ball. Keep up the good blog. I enjoy it so much.

  2. 2

    […] April 27, 2009 · Filed under Blogroll &#183 Tagged Almaty, Charyn Canyon, Kazakhstan Part of our trip on Saturday was what we saw going to the Charyn Canyon then returning to Almaty. Two photos I WISHED I had taken but didn’t were the following: 1) young teenage girl, accompanied by three guys, wearing short shorts, tank top, pantyhose, and stiletto heels. Did she ever look uncomfortable walking the canyon!!! (Also, saw older Kazakhs walking in their stockings or nylons without their shoes on, obviously they came unprepared for hiking with uncomfortable street shoes.) 2) Kazakh man managing his little shashlik stand with the seasoned meat in skewers over the smokey embers. (that was our supper before we went back to Almaty). No, those pictures weren’t taken and next time I’ll be more proactive to capture that Kodak moment. Like I did the other day when I snapped two photos of the little children in the playground. […]

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