The New Blog

Katia and Yakov. That will be the name of the new Blog that replaces Tales from Kazland www.talesfromkazland.spaces.msn.com . As the old-old name, Yekaterinburg holds official sway, and has come back into vogue; it derives from the name of the old queen Katherine.  The new-old name Sverdlovsk is still used by many who carried on under the Soviet regime. Yakov Sverdlovsk was the fellow who assassinated Czar Nicholas II and his family in Yekaterinburg and he was duly rewarded by the commie aparachniks in Moscow by having his name attached to this city for 75 years. Katia and Yakov will deliver snippets on the life about the Lynn’s new adventure in Yekaterinburg-Sverdlovsk, after a short and interesting run in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The old address will remain the same talesfromkazland….will remain as we are trying to show some continuity and to maintain the library of photos so you can see Nadia grow and progress.

Sunday May 27, 2007. We are into serious dacha life. We come out on Friday night go home on Sunday afternoon and manage to come out two nights during the work week from the city of dinner and a walk. The birds are singing and the clean air dominates. Civilization and the city are far behind. Here in the dacha village our peace and quiet is interrupted only by the sound of an occasional train whistle in the distance. Sophie often has some work to do and is bringing her laptop which brings us back to reality for a bit.

Nadia and I arrived in Yekaterinburg from Kazakhstan on May 15 at 3:25 am in a driving rainstorm that turned into snow later in the day; yes snow in May – it is after all the Urals. All was the immigration and customs formalities went flawlessly in Moscow, transiting with the cats and otherwise having a comfortable journey.

Sophie bought a car just before we arrived – a 1997 Honda Civic that really did belong to a little old lady. It has only 56,000 kilometers about 35,000 miles and is a wonderful little car. As was the practice in the States, Sophie has me doing most of the driving. I’ve gotten a translation of my Colorado driver’s license. We’re not sure if this will be enough to keep me from getting a ticket as an unauthorized/registered driver but we will try in for awhile. So far have not been stopped. Old Soviet era rules make it mandatory that you carry a raft of paperwork telling all about your car, your family, why you like to drive, safety history of the vehicle, special notarized paper giving me as owners husband the right to drive the car, etc. I have a huge new wallet for my passport and one whole section devoted to car stuff. We can only hope that one day it is reduced to driver license, registration and insurance card.

I’m developing enough bad habits on the road to be aggressive but not dangerous. In the States the mantra is drive defensively. Here you drive offensively or you get run over. It is not as uncivilized as was Almaty with the blaring horns. Russian are more subtle and don’t go to the horn unless they are about to get hit.

I’ve started making contact for my own work, emailing furiously with Americans that have been here recently and trying to set up meetings with various people that can offer advise and leads. This is the ultimate test for me as I don’t speak a lot of Russian and I’m in the thick of Mother Russia. Time will tell.

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