Yesterday I arrived at 5:20am and felt right at home as soon as we drove into Almaty. It is great to be back. All of the beautiful green trees that I saw in September are now bare and frosted with snow. It is very pretty. I am staying at a new hotel that I like. It is a busier neighborhood than where we stayed before so I should be able to move around a little more freely and take care of myself. Yesterday I walked to an open air market where I bought cheese, bread and fruit for lunch.
In the late afternoon I met with my colleague David to get ready for our week. He said that we are just a couple of blocks from the Almaty Opera house which is performing Swan Lake. So we went. It was wonderful fun – a beautiful building with gorgeous old fashioned painted sets and a very pretty ballet. Audience members buy flowers across the street before the performance. At the curtain call, they just walk right up on the stage to give bouquets to the performers. Loved it.
I took a little video of the space right before the performance. Sadly, I’m having some trouble uploading but will post as soon as I have it where you can see it.