"...sometimes there's a man... I won't say a hero, 'cause, what's a hero? But sometimes, there's a man. And I'm talkin' about [Bill] here. Sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's [Bill], in [Dehli? Last I heard he was in Dehli]."
We were able to escape the city for a long weekend out at Kolsai Lakes with some of my awesome friends here. The second night we camped on the shores of the second lake, and it was the night of the "Super Moon," which meant we had some fun and animal spirits were high.
After gaining about 500 meters from the road, the border guards caught up with us. Luckily, we were 500 meters above the road and a few kilometers away, and the guards were not to anxious to leave their Lada 4x4 or the road. They shouted and whistled at us, but we played deaf until we arrived at the top of the ridge, and at that point we lost sight of them until we would arrive back at the observatory later that evening.
You might have noticed I don’t write too much about the actual city of Almaty on my blog. It’s great, but I been having too much fun in the mountains to reflect about the city very often. A colleague of mine, who is new to the city, has been exploring and eloquently writing about his first experiences here. I recommend checking out Cousin Dampier’s blog if you want to see Almaty through another foreigner’s eyes.
The city sweats. Faces are sweaty and people are sweaty and car seats are sweaty and the walls are faded from that kind of heat that makes it all sweaty. Almaty should be dustier than it is. The buildings have that wind-blasted quality about them, smooth yellow-brown cinder block mated with yellow-brown plaster. White is the trim of choice, setting the window frames apart from the muddied world behind them.
Even in the heat, people are out, walking, carrying bags. It is not packed-crowded, like New York. It is less busy than that, but just as unfriendly. Smiling is not the Kazakh way, yet because they don’t smile out of nature, they are friendlier than New York where people don’t smile because the mass of people is painful.
And then one day it changes. One morning I awoke with my blankets pulled up over my head, instead of thrown to…
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