Link to 11/28 Photos
11-28-2004 Journal
Link to 11/29 Journal
Link to 11/27 Journal
UUUUUUUUUUralsssssssssssk...one heck of a town.  We have had a chance to explore Uralsk a little a more and are
finding it to be quite the charming little town.  We dedicated the  
photos section today to pictures from around the town
and I think you can get a good feel for what the city looks like.

The whole town including the suburbs is about 700 sq. miles with about 250K people living in the metro area.  The most
unique thing about Uralsk is that the Europe-Asia line runs right through it thus bringing the two cultures/races together.  
The Kazaks here are a beautiful Eurasian race who are a traditional people with very open hearts.

By U.S. standards there are a lot of things that are very cheap here.  You can gorge on a couple of piroshkis, a coffee
and piece of cake for about $2 or catch a taxi across town for about $1.50.  

Right now the weather is very cold but we have been venturing out for about 1.5 hours every day.  The architecture is
mostly post modern.  Almost all of the single detached homes have corrugated tin for their roofs. Near and around the
urban core there are many large rectangular apartment buildings that look like they were built in the 1960s.  The people
in these apartments subscribe to a perplexing practice of hanging their laundry out to dry in sub-freezing weather.   There
also seems to be a neighborhood well every few blocks or so.  Watching a family fill their water containers at the well is
one of those quaint "observing daily life" moments.

The grocery stores are definitely smaller than what we are use to although there is one new one that we found in a new
indoor complex called the Atrium that does a pretty nice job in about 20K s.f., sporting clean brightly lit aisles of neatly
organized shelves.

The traffic in town is moderate, even at rush hour.  It seems like walking is a popular mode of transportation as you always
see many people walking around very deliberately as if they are trying to reach a specific destination (I know that sounds
obvious but hopefully you know what I mean).

The young men seem to all wear dark pants, black or dark brown leather jackets with dark knit caps or those caps with a
bill in front like a baseball cap but the top part looks like a ½ way popped jiffy pop like they use to wear here in the U.S. in
the 1st half of the 20th century.  The young women are very fashion minded wearing tight pants with low belt lines and
flared cuffs with long coats with fur around the collar and high heeled boots or they will wear short skirts with nylon tights
and boots that come up to their knees.

As each day passes we become more bonded with and appreciative of the fine city you were both born.