Russian Word of the Day

  • present = padarak

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Morning song

Trip 2 Day 2 (part 1)
It’s new day in Kokshetau and I woke up ready to greet it. The new leafy canopy in the trees has brought with it an absolute chorus of birds, invisible to groggy Americans sipping instant coffee but there none the less, each little bird chir-chirruping as loudly and passionately as its little feathered breast will allow. The local stray dog population occasionally joins in the harmony, so that the morning sounds of Kokshetau are those of the wildlife alone. With nearly three hours until our morning ride to the babyhouse, I threw on some clothes and plunged myself in the warm morning air.
Now this is the Kokshetau I love! Babushkas in clogs were sweeping up the dust on the streets outside their homes. Men clustered around old Volkswagens smoking pungent cigarettes, joked loudly with each other. Ten year olds in knit caps carried fishing poles and raced for the lake. A Policeman in a florescent yellow vest pulled over a passing car, for no apparent reason, by waving his orange flashlight with an air of determination and decided boredom.
In the plaza separating Gorky Park from the Tsum Store a half dozen workers in orange vests were sweeping up the remnants of yesterday’s celebration. The streets and sidewalks are absolutely littered with bottles, some crushed into shimmering fragments of green or brown, some simply lying abandoned on the curbs. I picked my way through the wreakage, silently wishing the broom bearers good luck, and headed for the giant statute at the end of the plaza and the blue waters of the freshly melted lake just beyond. With the exception of several men and boys who were making their way to the lake to fish, I left people behind as I walked towards the lake. I looked up to see one of the firemen leaving his “dom” near the lake. One of Nana’s favorite people! I’m sure that he was heading to work for a day of marching past our old cottage. He must have seen the look of recognition register momentarily on my face and though I’m sure he didn’t recognize me, he called out “Privyet Diavichka” as I passed by. Then I was at the lake, with its clear waters lapping gently at the shore. There is no smog yet this morning and I could see across the lake to the hills beyond. It was absolutely beautiful. I listened to the gulls and the crunch of broken glass underfoot, before I turned and headed for home. I'm almost off to see my baby (for the first time in a month). What a wonderful Mother's Day treat! Hooray for Garrett and Hooray for Kazakhstan.
I'll write about Garrett and the babyhouse when we get back. Everything is O.K.


Anonymous said...

Hi Becca,

Tim just told me that there was a part one of today's entry!

Wow, it is so amazing to see Kokshetau in a greens, warm light, unfrozen lake, happy people who actually talk to you! I bet the fireman were happy to see you too. Keep the pictures and wonderful blog coming…

Love you tons,


Jennifer M said...

Awesome, awesome post! I LOVED it!! You have such great writing style. And of course your description of Kokshetau made me miss Petro- especially the descriptions of the people going about their daily business.

Thank you, thank you!