Sunday, January 21, 2007

New Squared

I got sick this week and had to leave work early. Some say it was the "24-hour flu." I say it was rancid ham and mayonnaise left in the sun. But hey, I'm no doctor. We began our Russian classes this week, and it was painfully obvious that Christina's a linguistic genius and I am a grunting dolt. Rather than using language to express myself, I've taken to pounding on the desk and pointing at things with a stick to get my point across.
Christina has started doing some English tutoring/teaching, both privately and at KIMEP. This'll help bring in the prodigious supply of Kinder chocolate that the Shiffler home demands on a weekly basis. Oh Bueno, Oh Country.
Yesterday we had our first appointment with our cleaning lady, Mira. She speaks about as much English as we do Russian, so conversation was a bit strained. She's very very friendly, and kept trying to talk to us even though we were doing the Dumb Expat Smile (tmBrookStinaInternational) and hardly understood anything she said. I tried banging on things and pointing with a stick, but I guess people here are too sophisticated to understand the American way of communication.
On to the pictures, which is really why you came here in the first place.

These are both pictures of the New Square, which is only about a block (albeit a giant Almaty block) from our apartment.

We are holding a contest here at BrookstinaInternational for the best caption for this last photo. The kind people at SmilingHill have agreed to provide a "mystery prize" for the winner. Good luck, and post away!


Claire said...

Hey, it's finally cold here too! (Sorry, I'm a bit obsessed with the weather.) Sorry to hear you were unwell, Brooke—that's no fun. Sounds like you guys are keeping busy, and more importantly, providing for your chocolate inflow. I, and the cat who is currently asleep on my left arm, approve.

Wendy said...

For the contest:
Red car: Teehee, I can see up that statues shorts!
Van: Oh yeah? Well, I can see through your windshield!
Red car: AAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Pervert!

furrever said...

The Twin Towers - Kazak style.

Isabell said...

A small hello from Finland where it's 18 degrees Celsius right now. Let's have a competition of cold-ness (or maybe even colds aka the sickness). It's great you are keeping us updated, I wish we had the courtesy to do the same, but we are just too lazy (I for my part am usually sitting on the couch with my huge belly eating nutella or, yes, Kinder Milchschnitte). Love the pictures, they remind me of a a mix between East Germany and Dr. Zhivago. I'm off now to my jar of Nutella but greetings and health to the two of you.

Benielle said...

Legobots v. Almaty Patriotism...and thats an award winning caption. I just awarded myself a hardy handshake.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about a caption per se, but it looks as if the he/she/it on the statue must be mighty important since the flanking buildings are bowing in obeisance.


Anonymous said...

So every time I went to your blog in my bookmark it just had your first entry, and I thought you weren't posting and I was a little worried. But now I've discovered the full adventure. Sounds like you're doing well, though, made friends. I'm glad you're tutoring, Crispy. You look great, though a little on the cold side. At my brother's school in Madison they just made a rule that they have to close school when it gets to -35 with the wind chill. Eeeek!!
Love you!

Aaron said...

How about:

"He who stands high between two buildings"

Anonymous said...

Contest entry:

AC/DC once said "... He's got big balls and she's got big balls, but we've got the biggest balls of them all."

Ever since taking that course at the U of U before med school I see human anatomy everywhere I look. It's good to see you're keeping up with the blog. I'll keep up with reading it infrequently. :)

-AY in StLouisMO