Saturday, August 16, 2008
On the shores of Lake Baikal
Russian present and Provencal nostalgia
Dad wakes me up when we arrive at the “Lake Baikal Museum” station. We get off and try to reach the people that reserved a house for us. They give us the address and we go. We arrive in an apartment that resembles a lot Irina’s in terms of architecture but not in decor. We get settled and we come down with our cameras to go for a stroll. On the shores of the lake, I think of the morning strolls on the pier at Saintes Maries de la Mer with Titou, my grandfather. The Saintes and the South of France are two places I miss a lot this summer. A kind of boat is used as a dock and we stop on it for a long time and dad films. We see men diving into the lake. Instead of going to a restaurant, we go into a kind of store that sells food, but we’re not quite sure what to take until dad hears people speaking Tadjik. He asks these young men if they are Tadjiks. They are workers that are here since April. They help us choose good meals to heat up and a bit of bread. Now there’s the problem of getting back to the apartment. We hitch hike and eventually a taxi picks us up. We pay him once we arrive, but he drives off without giving us our change back. All these attitudes are just not nice. It gives me this strange, unpleasant impression. We go up to the apartment. Since dad is sick, he doesn’t eat. When I finish eating, I get ready to go to bed by putting on bug repellant, and I go to sleep.