Last night we went out to "Samovar" the Russian restaurant last noted in my blog as the place where my colleague asked loudly what "YEB TVOYU MAT" means. We went to the other "Samovar" on the Left Bank by the enormous KazMunaiGas building–a monolithic structure that looks like something out of the last Star Wars film. Chris is off to England next weekend for the holidays and counting the hours, yesterday it was 206, don’t know what it is today, so this was our Christmas dinner together before we part ways for the holiday. After a whole afternoon of teaching, I was starving and ready to gorge myself with delicious Russian food and have a few shots of vodka. Herring, mushrooms, salo (pork fat–don’t tell Dr. Vail), salads, delicious entrees, chocolate bliny, fresh delicious black bread. Put that together with a few bottles of vodka and you got a pretty good party. The shot glasses clinked like bells pealing "Merry Christmas" and toast after toast we realized how special our Saturday nights have become.
After our feast at "Samovar" we took a stroll along the grand promenade toward Baiterek, the giant tower with the gold ball on top, the Eiffel Tower of Astana. After 2 bottles of vodka, it was warm enough to walk around the freezing streets of the new part of town. Irina was looking so fucking fabulous in her new red fur hat. I love it and want one just like it. A big puff of red fur like an enormous pom pom, it makes quite a statement here in Astana. She let me try it on last night but it just made me look like Martha Raye in "The Bugaloos".
Afterwards we made a trek to Walton and Asel’s for some tea to warm up before we headed home around 2:30 am.
Walton and Asel got a fake tree (I guess fresh trees are banned because people have been cutting down trees in parks and selling them) which was sparsely decorated. I may make them some ornaments today in my free time. Asel recently went to South Korea for a business trip and brought back "It’s a Wonderful Life". AAAHAHAHAHAH!!! I want to watch it so bad. That’s like a must for me during the holidays. They haven’t watched it yet so I resisted from asking to borrow it. Anyway, I’ll be doing my "It’s a Wonderful Life" bit in Brooklyn when I meet up with some NY friends and neighbors on the 21st at BBQ in the hood, so I can wait to see it later. Walton also had downloaded some Xmas tunes from Itunes so we had some apropos music as we sipped our tea late into the night. Aaaah the holidays, simple celebrations like these make them so special.