Getting to Almaty

7AM Friday, Frankfurt

weird analog departure signs where the letters flip…bicycles in the airport…toblerone smart car on display…people smoking and smelling a wee bit ripe…

people address me in english. do i look like i speak english? and of course i have trouble understanding english cause i expect people to come up to me and start talking in any language but english. or maybe it’s just that i’ve been flying for 10hrs without any sleep.

wanting to answer the question “what do these germans look like?” makes me think: “compared to what?” what does it mean for any group of people to look like anything? and what does it matter?

are there any bathrooms in this place?

en route to almaty

i don’t know what time it is. just “watched life as a house.” had a good cry. somehow i got bumped into business class and had a 4 course lunch (w/ menu!)

i like how the flight attendants remember (kinda) what language everyone speaks, and they go up and down the aisle alternating german and english. bilingualism is very cool.

my body wants to sleep. traveling is like rotting.

1AM Saturday, in bed in almaty

landed safely, met wonderful vladimir at the airport–customs was a breeze. chatted about the trees in almaty and the weather and the old soviet days on the way to the hotel.

i love this hotel. ten minutes of peace—enough time to wash my face and brush my teeth—made all the maddeningly long traveling forgettable.

sent out a volley of emails not 30minutes after arriving—just like me.

8:30AM Saturday, almaty

why am i awake? sleep body, sleep!

oh well, i am awake. it’s 7PM on Friday in austin, so i called the folks. funny to talk to people on the other side of the world especially when they’re in friday and i’m in saturday. how weird is that!

had my favorite breakfast buffet, went out walking for a few hours around 11am, and it is SO hot. i actually got a sunburn—probably cause they aren’t many trees. this place can be a little unnerving, each time i have to cross the street i face with imminent death. i managed to buy gum on the street and a soda in the mall. i’m afraid to use english—i hate seeming like an ignorant american tourist.

funny that after all that cold war nastiness, it seem strange that so many of our ex-soviet “uber-enemies” speak english whereas i can’t say that many americans speak any russian at all. it’s frustrating to me that most american’s conception of the old ussr was totally mediated by our government’s vilification of the place and the people. was all that really necessary? and if now we look back on what our government said and call it a load of crap, what should I think presently regarding all this recent iraq war talk?

ok enough seriousness. jet lag killed me at 3pm. my brain shut down. so i watched tv for a few hours and eventually went to bed at 10pm. why i woke up at 5am is beyond me. now it’s sunday morning. time for food and thinking about work. ciao.

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