We where so happy at arrival yesterday so we danced happily together! I believe we all felt that we had ended up in some sort of heaven! It is the kindness experienced by meeting a few of the locals that prevail in our hearts!
My first feelings was a strong urge to ride out on those endless steppes we saw leaving the airport driving into town at 4.30 in the morning. After a day in Karaganda it felt like we had a unique opportunity to enjoy a part of the world which still feels genuine. For me it was as I remember Yakutsk back in 2005. Untouched by the worst urges to join the consumer societies, which I like less by the day. However, I presume Karaganda is heading that way too eventually, the Russian way with new upmarket cars racing down the streets instead of these charming old buses which are still here! I will enjoy this atmosphere as long as it lasts. or as long as we have the opportunity to stay here. I will, in the mean time, note down my observations and thoughts.
We are staying at the University in a one room plus kitchen flat with an erratic supply of Internet, extremely hot water and, of course, central heating which is still not on, which is fine for us. Nights have been quite cold, around zero, but the air is fresh and clean and we feel good. It does take time to change money, buy basics, since we have nothing except one garlic smelling pot and one tea heater and a fridge and refrigerator which are as empty as they can get. Initially we have bought some pirogi filled with potatoes and the girls are still not adjusted to the food we have bought. But slowly, slowly they will adapt. So far, as usual, their behavior have been impeccable and there´s no doubt these two are born travellers. No problems at all. But, sure, we are all tired and adjusting to jet lag.
Pam is off for her first lecture and I am so happy for her. In the mean time I have to figure out how to entertain the girls, so far they play well together, We are so fortunate to have these two diamonds!
I do see we stick out with our clothes, our behavior, my loudness and outgoingness and I see they really appreciate that we have the girls with us. Smiles are common and a few talk to us, but unfortunately we need to get that Russian on board. I have already started doing some easier lessons and it helps, no doubt, but not enough. As usual, we need somebody who speaks English to help us with a few details.
So far we have encountered absolutely no problems with the bureaucracy that some people warned us about beforehand. We have come across only kindness!