Friday, October 15, 2010

Scenes from Almaty

A couple weekends ago the girls and I went out and did a bit of exploring in Almaty. Nothing too exotic - we went to the big bazaar/market in town and then to a local park to kill some time before going to church. At the market we wandered through many stalls and managed to find a bunch of things we needed - a shower rod for Emily's bathroom so she could finally take a shower with a curtain, some adapters for all our appliances from Singapore with the wrong type of plugs, a desk lamp for Marcy's room and Marcy's skating outfit (see Ice Princess post below.) I also walked the girls through the "meat" section of the market but they wouldn't let me take photos. Really wanted a picture of the girls in from of the pig heads hanging from hooks. I had to take them out quickly because I thought they might start gagging. How embarrassing would that be??

Next we went to a nearby park. I thought it might just be some pathways with trees and a few statues but there was quite a scene hidden back off the road. Here's a picture of the building at the center of the park. I have no idea what it is or what it is used for but very bright and interesting:

They had pony rides, carriages, food vendors, and a few carnival style games. And a tremendous number of pidgeons which people were feeding and holding. Marcy took some photos for me and got Emily as she was scaring them off. (By the way - this is Emily's new church attire - her Penguins jersey. Frank let her wear it once and now it's the thing to wear.)

At one point all the birds took off at once while Olivia and Marcy were in the midst of them. Scared the heck out of them and I managed to catch there reaction:

Lastly, we came upon a wedding in another section of the park. Wedding here are a really big deal with several venues being used throughout the day for photos and dancing and food, etc. The whole wedding party will travel through the city in decorated limos and cars in procession. It's almost like a funeral procession - everyone stays together with headlights on. Except you'll see about 10-15 on any normal Saturday drive. This is the wedding party we happened upon. Non-wedding members were all just standing around watching:

From closer to home, this was the view out the library window last week. This field is between the school and our neighborhood. Apparently the man who owns these cows and goats (and sheep you can't see) takes them for a "walk" often. He walks in front and they all just follow behind:

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