I met Dilbar at my Almaty’s guesthouse. She was a friend of the tenant, and we started to talk. Finally, she drove me to Medeu, to Shimbulak, to the Lake, and today we were supposed to go to the Tian Shan Astronomical Observatory. But it was closed, and anyway the stars were hidden by the clouds.
Dilbar is fifty. She has lived for many years in Astana, with her husband you works in the Oil & Gas industry, but she was raised in Almaty – “The old center of Almaty”, does she precise proudly. She is here for the summer season and her husband will join her in a few days.
For the last two years, she has been a painter. “I paint fishes and ducks, those are the symbols of a happy marriage, and I sell some of them”.
Though, when she went on vacation to China with her husband last time, “he was doing nothing but reading his e-books, smoking and drinking vodka”. Like many Kazaks, she has been many times to the Emirates and to Turkey, but next time she would like to visit France. “And not with my husband, with a friend”.
“I’ve always been ready for changes”, did she explain as I was telling her about my sabbatical. “But there’s always been a good reason not to change anything”. That might be why she has lately dropped fishes and ducks to try the Van Gogh style…