How to clean a carpet with a two-foot-tall broom

25 12 2010

Here’s what you need to get started: one (or more) filth covered carpet, one bucket’o’water with some soap suds, one bundle of dried up sticks bound tightly together.  To get started, first dip the tip of your stick bundle into the sudsy water.  It helps if said stick bundle, hereafter called “broom”, has been previously splashed by some unidentifiable red substance.  This substance may sometimes run, and sometimes not.  Don’t worry, this randomness is to be expected.  Once you have dipped your broom, begin to vigorously sweep your carpet, starting at one end and working your way across the entire surface.  Remember, your broom is only two feet high, so this means there is some stooping involved, and you must really put your back into it in order to actually lift dirt and hair from the carpet.  As you broom dries out, dip it again in the water, and refill your water as necessary.  Afterwards you should have a handsome pile of dust at the end of your carpet.  Go ahead and sweep the floor around the carpet, and any other rugs you may have.  Now, all you have to do is figure out how to pick up your pile of dirt without anything resembling a dustpan.  Congratulations, you have now cut one more electronic appliance out of your life.  Back to the basics here folks.

My 18-year old host sister came home again last weekend. I think I need to give up my official tutor and pay her to come home more often.  She’s been the most helpful tool in learning the language since I got here.  She definitely actually thinks its worth the time to slow down and speak simply, and explain things to me that I don’t understand.  A lot of people, if I don’t understand the first time, will say it again, but use different words that I really don’t know, and just keep changing their words without ever trying to explain what any of it means, and then I just end up even more lost and confused.  When Samal comes home though, she’ll talk to me for hours, about interesting things, and usually I understand all of it.  And she corrects the way I say things, instead of just smiling and nodding when I make mistakes.  It’s glorious.  This whole week I could tell that my language had gotten better, just from the couple of days she was at home over the weekend.  Please come back Samal!

Well, despite my inability to correctly write my address, I got some mail this week.  That was exciting, so thank you guys so much.  No matter how hard a day has been, getting stuff from home no matter what it is, makes me grin like a fool.  I think my host family thinks I’m insane, but I shared some of my marvelous chocolate (thanks Clay) and they started to understand.

Today is Christmas.  Christmas in Kazakhstan goes unnoticed.  Well, the Russian Orthodox church celebrates it, but not until January 7th.  However, I’m trying to bring on the cheer by wearing a Santa hat while I sit writing this in a cafe.  I may look like a freak, but at least I’m a jolly, festive freak.   While there is no Christmas music, no ABC movie specials on TV, the Kazakh New Year is actually celebrated very similarly to our Christmas, so there are Christmas Trees and pictures of Santa Claus everywhere.  New Year’s is one of there biggest holidays.  Fireworks get lit, trees go up and get danced around, presents are given, and the frost-grandfather (Santa) and snow girl do…something.  I’m not quite sure yet what their role is, but I assume I’ll find out really soon.





3 responses

25 12 2010

Merry Christmas
Glad your package arrived in spite of our address challenges. Great to hear from you and always happy to read your updates.

30 12 2010

I think that a vacumn cleaner is an electric device rather than an electronic device; anyway it is a machine. You are learning so many useful things. Will you clean my carpets when you get back? I will keep the image of you with your 2 foot broom in my mind.

30 12 2010

did you know that there a little snowflakes falling on the blog screen? they change direction depending on how i move the cursor – so fun – we have a blizzard here today and the snowflakes are like the ones visciously changing direction out the window, before my eyes – wish I could make them more how I want.

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