Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day 22

Went to the market again today, as we wanted to buy Miss Julia a purse (she's always walking around clutching Luba's). I don't think we'll ever get used to the markets around here. They're very interesting, and you can sure see a heck of a lot of merchandise for a relatively small amount of footwork (compared to say, a mall). You can pretty much buy anything at the markets. We've seen furs and boots, jewelry and underwear, sheep's heads and raw fish. But there's such a narrow aisleway between the tables that you pretty much have to walk single file, with much pushing and scrambling and jockeying for position. There is generally either slush or puddles or ice underfoot, so in addition to looking ahead for your child, looking behind for your husband, looking side to side, up and down at the merchandise, you also have to watch your footing so you don't soak your feet, trip over a plank, or fall on your a--. If you do stop at a stall to see if they have what you want, you have to rein in your companions and do a quick side-step to look it all over. Some of the stuff is hanging from chains about 10' up in the air, and if you want to see it they retrieve it with a pole. If I'm interested in an item, the next step is to ask "skolka?" which pretty much means how much. Since I don't know Russian numbers over 10, they'll tell me a number, I'll puzzle over it awhile, vainly thinking I can decipher what they told me, then finally give up and pantomime for them to write the number down or punch it into a calculator. Sometimes we'll get momentarily disoriented within the bowels of the market, as there are tarps or corrugated metal makeshift rooftops, and very little sunlight makes its way down to eye-level. There are vast stretches of the markets that seem to specialize in one particular item, such as fur coats. If you get lost in these spots, it's eerily frightening, with fur surrounding you on all sides and towering above. So we'll walk aways, come to a cross-section, decide on a right, then a left at the next, and so on till we spot something familiar, or at least a bigger patch of sky above. We've considered leaving a trail of bread crumbs to find our way out, but it would be pretty futile since there are so many dogs wandering at large out here.

Today was a good day and we were able to find our way out. Purse in hand. I believe Julia will be pleased.

1 comment:

Lou Ann said...

Hi (I don't even know your names')

I just found your blog and read the whole thing so I simply had to write and say you are an inspiration. I adopted my daughter from Aktau last summer and have read lots of blogs but never before have I heard of parents so determined to return for a child they met so long ago. I cried through a number of your postings and I am not a crier. I just wish I could see pictures of you all and the kids to see the joy and pride that comes across in your writing.
I look forward to following the rest of your journey and pray everything goes well from here on out and you have your whole family together for Christmas.

God Bless & Safe Travels
Lou Ann
Mom to Lexie now 2 1/2 from Aktau

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