Sunday, September 26, 2004

Dya Dya Boris

Amy: We have friends in our neighborhood now. We met this guy at a church we went to. He's living in Washington state, but is from Almaty. His parents just happen to live a couple of buildings over from us, they are of Russian origin, not Kazakh. So he called us up last night (he's here visiting) and invited us over for tea after dinner, which is a common practice for people around here, they often have people in their homes to visit in the evenings to have tea. It was a joy to get out of our completely westernized apartment, and visit a true Russian home. Their apartment was smaller than ours, and filled with five people, three dogs, and a cat. It was worn and simple, well lived in, and smelled of dust from the outside and gas from the tea heating on the stove. We only met Papa, Mama, and brother Misha, all Russian blond with plump faces. They speak little if no English at all, so their son from Washington had to translate. We all crowded in the tiny kitchen (six humans and two dogs), around the tiny kitchen table that was covered with food and tea cups. The mother, Alla, served us tea, chocolate cake, traditional Russian pastries, fresh plums and pears, and some kind of nuts. They completely welcomed us in, and shared everything from what scenic places to visit to how to deal with the police if we get pulled over. The papa insists now that we call him Dya Dya Boris, which means "Uncle Boris". Alla simply wanted to be called Alla. They're taking us to a lookout place tonight where we can see the lights of the city.


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