On Friday I saw some of the film Sky of my Childhood. The showing was interrupted as the actors in the film came to do a Q&A session, I asked if I could get a DVD of the film. The story is all about Nursultan Nazarbayev’s childhood, which was appropriate because Saturday was President’s Day. It’s the first time this special day has been celebrated. Predictably the film paints Nazarbayev as some sort of natural born leader.

Through the weekend there were pictures of Nazarbayev up outside the agricultural university, his face appeared on billboards near the new square, and there was a small celebration outside the Palace of the Republic. There was supposed to be a big celebration at Medeo but it was cancelled due to the heavy snow. I went to the national library but it was closed.

Monday was a bank holiday so Lyndon, Jeong, Michael and me took the opportunity to go skiing at Shymbulak. The mountains were covered in fresh snow and skiing felt wonderful.

We all went to eat at a Korean restaurant afterwards, which made it the 5th consecutive day on which I’ve eaten out in the evening. Yu Zhu ordered some takeaway sushi for us to bring back. Now that we’re fully in exam season I don’t know if Jeong will have the time to carry on cooking together. Still, I’m enjoying myself.

The last topic covered in my social political theory class was on utopias. I ran out of reading material so I’m reading Wage, Labour and Capital from where I left off last time. I’m also watching Season 2 of Game of Thrones which Jeong kindly copied onto a USB stick for me.

There’s an update on the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, their offical proscription expires on the 12th December. I’m not going to write any more about it until I’m back in Britain. I learned some new things about the events in Zhanozhen too, but that’s also a topic for another day.

Lastly I wrote a series of posts on ‘fascism in Eurasian politics’ based on reading a lot of weird stuff by Alexander Dugin. Those are hosted on the Fair Employment blog:

EDIT 2020: Fair Employment is now offline and there is no archive, these blog posts have effectively disappeared.

11 days to go until I’m back home, my time here is slipping by surprisingly fast.