With Lisa's publicly heckling me (as well she should) coming on the heels of my recent discovery that you can post pictures right in Blogger (I feel so dumb for not realizing that before), I decided I would post some Ulan Ude pictures like I promised.
I wanted to write a "let's wittily, concisely and insightfully wrap up this past year and what it meant to me" post. But since concise is definitely not my style and my wit is hit-or-miss, plus insight requires actual work, I could see how well that was going to work after about the first sentence. So here's a weak effort: I am not the same person I was a year ago, and that is because I went to Russia. I'm not going the same place I thought I was going, either short term or long term, and I don't look at the world the same way I used to. Also, I learned to eat fish. All of this is good.
Right, so here are some pictures!
This is the head of Lenin that is so famous in Ulan Ude.
And now I remember why I stopped writing the last time I started. Because all of these pictures are on Facebook already. But, not all of my readers are Facebook users, so I'll post at least a few more.
This is a Buryat orchestra! I never did figure out what the story is with the violins being held like cellos. This was on Russia Day, June 11. The best part about Russia Day was when the folk performances were replaced by rappers. Their rap consisted of saying, "Добро пожаловать в Улан Удэ! Добро пожаловать в Улан Удэ!" (Welcome to Ulan Ude! Welcome to Ulan Ude!) over and over with a synthetic drumbeat in the background. They also had a pretty decent female backup dancer. In short, awesome.
One more picture (because I'm tired) - Ulan Ude's triumphal arch, looking down the lovely ulitsa Lenina (Lenin street), which becomes a pedestrian street as it approaches the river.
Ok, just two more things - first, I leave for Taganrog (well, Moscow) on Friday. I can't believe how soon that is! And second, I entered some of my datsan pictures as a photo collection in the county fair photography contest, and it won Best in Show! Those Buddhist monasteries sure are photogenic, eh?