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A UFO In Kazakhstan

December 7, 2013

Well, I have been worse than terrible about updating this blog. I’ve been in Kazakhstan over three months now and have written precisely nothing.

Where to start? One reason I haven’t written is that I’ve been very busy with work. This school uses a different set of teaching materials than my last school, an entirely different approach, and, though I think it’s very good for my development as a teacher, there is a great deal of preparation and planning required.

Kazakhstan is very different from Poland, of course. For one thing, people speak Russian here. Despite the similarity to Russian, my Polish is pretty much useless. I haven’t put much energy into learning Russian, just the things I need to direct a taxi driver or ask for something in a shop. I can sound out written words now and that often helps, as there are lots of words similar to English, Polish, and other languages I am more familiar with. But still, I can barely function. I have to point and mime a lot.

There’s no way I’m going to write a coherent entry about the last three months at the moment, so I think I’ll just post a few pictures. And soon I will try to organize my thoughts a bit.


Winter is here. That wind is ferocious. I’m okay so far… I’ve got my GRIZZLY FORCE coat and some good ski gloves. It was around 15-20 F when I left my flat this morning at 10:00.

A shopping mall. Shopping malls are the hub of public life in Karaganda, as far as I can tell. I guess there are also sporting events but I would hesitate before attending one. I’d be nervous in the crowd.

Looking out my kitchen window. I have no idea if the people across the way can see in my windows at night, because of these cheap sheer curtains I’ve got. I just assume they can.

A Typical Work-Week Morning…

Breakfast. Notice that it is utterly black outside my window.

I’ve come to like Turkish coffee. I actually like the grit.

I get to the bus stop around 8:15 and it begins to get light.

A marshrutka… that’s Russian for ‘death trap sardine can.’

Congo? Sure, yeah, I can hear the howler monkeys and feel the sweat dripping off me.

Today (Saturday)…

I got out before noon this morning, which is rare for me on a Saturday. Went to Ankara, the fast food joint, where a couple of my fellow teachers were cramming for the Russian lessons I no longer bother with. I chatted with them, read a bit, then went over to a couple of malls to look at music gear.

Somehow I have missed up until now that there is an abandoned amusement park, right by places I shop all the time.

I saw a UFO today.

Everywhere I go, (from Illinois to China), I find eerie graveyards of merriment.

They used to put the kids they didn’t like in CAR X.

“Eep! I’ve been shot!”

That is one sinister looking caterpillar. He looks like he’d sell you a railroad car full of Kalashnikovs, collect the money, then rat you out to the security services and take back the guns.

Something terrible happened here.

More soon.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anne Morrison permalink
    December 7, 2013 5:39 pm

    I LOVE this entry. Thanks for sending it.



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