Friday, August 15, 2008

At Least We Get A Hat

I was talking before about how the Bashkurts get to wear elaborate robes and furs and stuff and our clothes are a little more "boring", but at least we get to wear a hat. Before I went to Kazan, I had this preconception that people spoke Tatar in public, commerce, transportation, etc... This wasn't the case at all, and at times it was difficult to find someone that I could communicate with. One day, after having ditched the others, I wandered into a hat shop. In the doorway, I screamed out, "Monda Tatarcha Soylilerme?" The people looked at me like I was crazy, and then several people approached. One Tatar woman especially was helpful and translated for me as I bought several hats. The square hats I remember seeing in photographs of peoples of Western China in Time-Life photo books.

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