Victory Day Picnic: Women and Children
Fun to get out of the city life of Almaty on a country dirt road (albeit it was so pockmarked with holes that it felt like a ride you would pay for at an amusement park). The Soviet’s Victory Day felt like our American Fourth of July with barbeque and children running around, sun beating down and fresh open air. The downside for our hosts (besides the bad road leading to their home) is that they don’t have any Internet service. They DO, however, have a great view of the mountains and also a view of their neighbor’s big house which has cameras peering all around its fortress-like brick wall. Apparently our host has never met his neighbor but he has seen his four armed guards with machine guns going in and out of the gate. I’m wondering what this neighbor is so zealous to protect?
Our host’s company pays the rent of his house of $6,000, I can’t even imagine how much his neighbor’s house must be worth. Yes, we saw where the affluent Kazakh people live in this part of Almaty but there are so many vacant homes and apartment complexes. A house of cards which shows ostentatious wealth and the banking situation in Kazakhstan is in peril.
What Victory Day is about is remembering the loss of life during the Great Patriotic War to protect women and children in order to have normal, functioning homes. I have to admit, I have NOT started Tolstoy’s War and Peace yet, yesterday was too nice a day which meant celebrating the victory against evil and being thankful for those who defended their homeland against the enemies. Yet there seems another dangerous enemy afoot on the Kazakhstan steppes if one must have gates, guards and cameras to fend off a supposed or real evil.