Posts tagged Green Bazaar

More Photos from “The Grinch” (Part II)

I planned to show photos from our Language Center work party last night but I’ll do that tomorrow.  Instead, I have other photos to share with little anecdotes.  I’m very much in the Christmas shopping mood, I just bought 10,000 tenge ($66) worth of warm clothes at the second hand stores by the Green Bazaar. (Three turtleneck sweaters and a suit jacket) Also, I bought a festive, green Kazakh vest off the sidewalk from one of the vendors.  I’ve already bought gifts for family members back home.  I’m anticipating having parties with some of my work colleagues and maybe some students who live in Almaty.  I have gifts to give them under my little tree from Poland that I bought at the Green Bazaar two Christmases ago.

In keeping with the Grinch theme where he stole all the gifts and the tree and tried to steal away the Who village joy, I am showing not only MY Christmas tree but also a resident dog that belongs to our building.  At first I was scared of him (“once bitten, twice shy” applies with me) and he of me. But now we have become friends and I would miss him if anything should happen to him.  Usually he sits outside of the second floor door but sometimes he sits on my floor.  I haven’t fed him too much but we seem to have an understanding.  I don’t know his name but I call him “Happy.”  He is not much to look at but seems to have a very sweet spirit.  The dog in the play “The Grinch” was just as adorable, see yesterday’s posting.

Finally, below is a photo of my friend Kim AFTER the play in her Who get up.  She was a bridesmaid in my wedding 17 Christmas Eves ago and I was a bridesmaid in her wedding in 1990.  Somehow we both ended up here in Almaty, loving the Kazakh people and their culture.  There may be some of my detractors who claim at my place of employment that I don’t like the Kazakh people and that I hate the country saying that it is a garbage dump, but they are wrong!!!

At my office I have noticed something very interesting happen after I was “fired” or in other words, not re-hired.  The Kazakh teachers who are in my office are giving me small presents on the side.  Not making a big show of it because they don’t have the English skills to convey their caring for me.  They know the truth, they know that I have stayed in this great country of Kazakhstan over two years because I have GREAT hope for their nation.  Next week may be difficult to say goodbye to those who have made my stay at this university very meaningful.  One office is planning a special tea party for me.  Thank you ladies!  Now, here is Kim in her outfit, you can’t help but smile along with her.  Sure glad she didn’t wear this as a bridesmaid in my 1994 Christmas Eve wedding. She would have been banished from the group!

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Odd and Not-so-odd Photos from Almaty

green car and attendantgreen vehicle Again, I don’t have much time to post about life in Kazakhstan, so these photos will have to do for now. What is funny about this photo with the parking attendant at the Green Bazaar is that he is standing on a manhole cover. I suppose he knows his territory and directs traffic like that odd green vehicle behind him (wish I knew the name of this car). Everyone who grew up in the former Soviet Union knows to NEVER step or stand on manhole covers, they are NOT to be trusted. Check out the rest of my odd photos from Almaty, Kazakhstan!open manholecamels at bazaar

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Almaty Street Scene: Sheeps Heads, Horses and Pigeons

p4180218Yesterday I walked down to the Green Bazaar and some of the things I saw looked “normal. ” I’ve lived in Almaty over a year and a half. The horses and pigeons in front of the old Orthodox church in Panfilov park, normalna. Sheeps heads at the Green Bazaar, again every day stuff. Even found the Easter egg sleeves to actually celebrate Orthodox Easter this weekend by boiling up the eggs. Many cultures converge in this busy city of Almaty to make it a fantastic place to live!!! That is, if you are “into” variety!p4180220p4180219p4180224

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“It’s a Dog’s Life” – Easter Weekend Recap

p41101981Khristos vos Kres!” Good Friday was a BEAUTIFUL spring day!!! So different from what transpired 2,000 years ago, a dismal day Christians choose to remember and I decided to fast to be reminded of the cross. (Horrid flashbacks of Mel Gibson’s horribly bloody movie “The Passion” reappear in my mind) After a morning class with my students and being interviewed by a former student in journalism with a big camera taping it, time for a much needed walk down hill to the Green Bazaar. My favorite places to shop (by necessity because of my meager budget) are the Second Hand stores just north of the Green Bazaar and I discovered there is a new one that just sprouted up. I bought several tablecloths, one is a perfect linen one for only $6. I found a dress my color and then as I was checking out the fourth store, my friend Brenda called. She wanted me to join her for pizza at Ramstor. I declined but once I finished shopping I hopped on a bus and told her I’d be there in 15 minutes to meet up with her after all. Once we met, we went shopping for foodstuffs at Ramstor and then parted ways. Good to catch up even if for just 20 minutes.

Walked up my five flights of stairs to dump off my loot from shopping and walk downhill to our university where the KELT play was about to begin at 7:00. “David and Lisa” had been much advertised. With a busy week, I hadn’t figured out who would go with me, so I went solo figuring I’d meet up with someone I’d know. I was pleasantly surprised to see the heavy marketing paid off, the Great Hall was almost full and I seated myself in the fourth row in order to hear the actors’ lines better. A cast of 20, mostly Kazakh university students or other nonnative speakers necessitates being close to stage in order to not miss any words. I’ve learned this from past experience of attending other KELT productions.

Other native speakers of English who are professionals in the city of Almaty and who enjoy community theater were also in the cast of characters for “David and Lisa.” However, the articulation and volume of most all actors was very good. I thought the best job was done by an Australian lady who sounded VERY American in her role as a doting, overbearing mother. Also, Elina who played the lead role of Lisa did a superb job, she was supposed to sound nonsensical in her rhyming sentences and her boundless energy was phenomenal. She had split personalities, one that was hyperactive Lisa, the other was morose Muriel who was gloomy, almost scary. The other lead who played David did a great job too, I think he had the most lines to memorize.

What was funny about the start of the evening was as I was shutting off my cellphone before the performance I noticed I had missed one call. It was my French friend Benedicte who lives near me. She too had decided to go to the play on her own at the last minute but I didn’t know that so when I returned her call I told her where I was. She said, “turn around.” I did and then five rows back she waved. After intermission we sat together and watched the second half of the intense play. The play ended well and so Benedicte and I walked up the hill together talking about the amazingly complicated play we had just witnessed. She had been fasting too, so we both ended our Good Friday on a good note.

Saturday I had invited the opthamologist’s daughter over to find out about her Kazakh family background. (tomorrow I’ll share what I learned from Leila) Before that I had bought an Easter lily for Brenda whom I’d see the next day for our Easter meal at her home. I then prepared Mexican tacos for my students who were coming for my final “make-up” class Saturday evening and we watched “Emperor’s Club” with English subtitles. We had a lot to discuss afterwards because it was about teacher-students relationships and integrity, character and honor codes. This movie deals with cheating and dishonesty which we unfortunately have to deal with all the time at our university.

Sunday morning was a very special Easter service where we sang all the usual Wesley hymns starting with “Up from the Grave He Arose!” An extra treat was having an African American woman, who is a professional jazz singer, do a rendition of “How Great Thou Art.” The worship team had some added brass, a sax and drums along with the guitar. Peyton’s sermon was wonderful and I’ll long remember the story about his wife’s Uncle Billy. At the beginning he told of Uncle Billy’s part of the D-Day operation in WWII where he was the pilot of one of the many American boats that brought Americans to French soil to fight and die for freedom. However, Uncle Billy’s boat was bombed even before they got to shore and recovering all the dead bodies, they were all put in a morgue. By the end of the sermon, Peyton finished the story about Uncle Billy waking up in the midst of all these dead bodies, having only been knocked unconscious. He was spared, he revived to live his life. Jesus whose death we honor and memorialize on Good Friday was dead, dead, dead. What we celebrate on Easter Sunday is that He is alive! It’s not a dog’s life after all but God’s LIFE!p4120213

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What fun to go with my two university friends to finish off my Easter weekend at Brenda and Thom’s place. I played her piano, ate good food and mingled with new people and “old” friends over a ham, an actual sit down meal with carrot cake made by Julia to top it off. Thanks Molly and Zoey (dog’s names) for having us. It’s a dog’s life.

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