It snowed today! This is good for several reasons. 1) It means it was warm today (only like -10!), 2) The snow covered all the slippery ice so my chances of falling on my face and/or shattering my spine greatly decreased, and 3) The humidity level was finally higher than 2%, so I didn’t get super dehydrated and my face skin is still in tact! It’s a pre-Christmas miracle!
Quick update for those of you who I don’t trust enough to be my facebook friends: We went to some sort of Christmas bazar thing today with like, the only other 20 foreigners in the entire country. I bought some ornaments for myself and maybe some lil souvenir gifts for some people. Maybe. Then we went to the mall and I bought a sausage and ate it and it was delicious. Then we went home.
Oh and I might as well share some other things I’ve learned about this place so far (in case, you know, you need to come rescue me):
1. No one speaks English or has ever heard of it or even knows that another language other than Kazakh and mayyyyybe Russian exists. No joke. And this sucks because all I know how to say is da (yes), nyet (no), spaziba (thank you), pajalista (please), Stolichnaya (Stolichnaya), Engliski (English), and dasvendanje (bye). And I’m not even sure if those are the same words in Kazakh. So to communicate, you need to be fluent in sign language. Or Kazakh. Whichever you find easier.
2. Kazakhs are apparently obsessed with Maroon 5. I’m not sure why. But in the grocery store, on the radio in the taxi, on the local music channels, you name it – Adam Levine’s melodious feminine voice is to be heard. And that shit stays stuck in your head, too. So I’m like, slipping on a patch of ice somewhere, and in my head I’m all, “I got the moves like Jagger…”
3. Any part of your body that is exposed to the air will fall off within a matter of minutes. I had to go drop something off last night at Ma’s friend’s apartment across the courtyard. It’s literally 25 meters away. I had to get mad bundled up, and then I was all like “Oh it’s not that far – I totes don’t need my scarf and gloves.” WRONG. YOU ALWAYS NEED YOUR SCARF AND GLOVES! My face went through the entire spectrum of colours, from normal to red to blue to purple to white and back again, and my hands had no feeling or sensation left. You could have shot me in each hand twice and I wouldn’t've felt it, from how numb they were. The funniest part is watching me try to light a cigarette in this state. And by funny I mean, laugh and I’ll kill you.
4. I’ve lived in cold places before. I’ve experienced snow for years. I know what it’s like. I also know that proactive measures are taken to ensure that the roads are cleared of snow as quickly as possible. This is done with a snow plow and salt. In Kazakhstan, they haven’t learned this yet. There is no pavement. There are no streets. You’re just driving constantly on snow. And walking on ice. Don’t get me wrong – they try! But they’re doing it wrong. I saw a guy today use water to break up the snow and then shovel it across the sidewalk. Uhm. Water freezes, asshole. Thanks in advance for the spinal fracture.
5. All female Kazakhs are born with high-heels on their lil baby feet. This is the only explanation as to how they can possibly walk long and dangerous distances (I’ve even seen chicks RUN! Like, run to catch a bus, or run across the street) in 5 inch hooker boots that have zero traction.
Okay and that’s all for now. I need to go lie on top of the radiator for a while.