People have been complaining about the snow adn teh cold and the wind for months now. So what do they do once it gets warm? Move into the shade.
The snow is finally all gone, the cold, biting wind has turned into warm, dusty wind and life is moving along according to some sort of plan, I'm sure. I am soon moving into my own apartment after over eighteen months of living with host families that feed and shelter me. There are many skeptics out there that believe I will go crying back to a host family in less than a month because men are incapable of cooking, cleaning and washing without somebody to guide them through it. I've assured the many people that I did live without my parents or anybody else to look after me for two years while I was in college (though mommy was always there to tell me what spin cycle to put my clothes on).
The apartment is definitely the most exciting thing for me personally right now. It's two rooms, a kitchen and a toilet. No shower, no banya, so washign myself will not be as easy as before. I will manage to afford internet and food at the same time (though time with one will have to be sacrificed for the other, and I think we know which one will win out). I move at the end of the month, if not sooner, and at this point teh anticipation keeps me up at night. I've always been that way, unable to stand the wait.
Other news, Jane took me to a Kazakh wedding, which was somethign I've been wanting to do for a long time. It turns out it's not so different from an American wedding. It started with a ceremony at the mosque which was in two languages, neither of which I understood, but I got the main idea being about love and committment to each other. We traveled to the family's house, where sixteen extended family members all live under one roof, though considering Kazakhs don't have the same temperance as the Brady Bunch, I imagine it was more like an insane asylum than a home. We left the group for a few hours and met them again for the reception that night.
Kazakh receptions again resemble American ones, except in two areas. The first is the importance of food, which is served all night long, with three main dishes that everybody sits down to stuff their faces with. They then get up and dance, preparing themselves for another round. In addition, all through the night, toasts are given by every guest at least once. Some run long and windy, others (like those given by an American who'd never met the happy couple before) are terse but thoughtful. I would say the same amount of time is spent toasting as is dancing.
We managed to get out of there around 11 o'clock or midnight, about three hours earlier than most other guests would. I had talked with several people and came away with some valuable knowledge. One man informed that the world is a cycle and America is at fault for the current crisis, which means capitalism is going to collapse and socialism will return followed by communism, which was great for the people of the Soviet Union and will work well all thruoghotu the world. I became frustrated when I couldn't find the proper langauge to tell him how absurd his theories were. The second story that I enjoyed was from the emcee, who came to our table to talk. He told me and my fellow Americans that Kazakhstan is a place without boudnaries, so once you get here and realize what you've fallen into, you can't get out.
I'm going to keep the update to that. I don't know if there will be more frequent updates once I have internet at home, or if I'll still have nothing exciting to talk about.