“Same same in the face!” – Everyday Kazakh conversations with Zoya

Hotel Security Guard
“Good morning!”
“Good morning!”
“What are you doing in Kazakhstan?”
“We are driving to Mongolia.”
“What is your name?”
“Zoya. Nice to meet you.”
“Oh! That is Russian name! You speak Russian? Where you from?”
“No, sorry, I don’t. I’m from the USA”
“What are you doing in Kazakhstan with Russian name?”
“My parents named me Zoya…they liked the name.”
“Oh. I hear you are from New York. Are you Manhattan or Brooklyn?”
“Manhattan”
“What are you doing in Kazakhstan with Russian name from Manhattan?”
“I don’t know. What is your name?”
“John.”
“What are you doing in Kazakhstan with an English name?”
“[shrugs] Bye! Good luck!”

Highway project director (Mr. Eric)
[lots of motions and hands around the face area] “We are sister and brother! You are Kazakh!”
“No, I’m American.”
“No, you are Kazakh!”
“No, sorry, I’m not.”
“You are driving to Mongolia. Maybe you are Mongol”
“No, my mother is Korean and my father is American”
“Ah…American man plus Korean woman equals Kazakh! See? Same same in the face! Let us take photo to show American and Kazakh together!”

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2 Responses

  1. Ya can’t make that stuff up. Love it! The photos are amazing – you guys look like you’re having an amazing adventure. I miss my Annie!!

  2. Awesome. And while I know there is no relationship, “same same in the face” and “let us take photo to show American and Kazakh together” could come right out of Borat…

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