DRINKING CAMEL’S MILK IN THE YURT
Edited by Monica Neboli
Summertime Publishing: $13.95
As a seasoned traveler and former expat, I’m always on the lookout for new challenges and experiences. There’s a deep sense of accomplishment when you learn to adapt to another environment and overcome the culture shock.
In Drinking Camel’s Milk in the Yurt, an anthology by expats in Kazakhstan and edited by Monica Neboli, I was left with a new curiosity about a part of the world that let’s face it, most of us have never considered visiting.
Two of the biggest expat challenges to living abroad are adapting to a different culture, and finding a sense of belonging. In this collection of stories, expats from all over the world expose the many traditions, mindsets and an ultimate sense of community in a country that is pretty much unknown to the rest of the world. Despite what Westerners may or may not know; this is a country filled with welcoming people and a celebrated passion for culture. What’s not to enjoy about that?
A recurring characteristic of the Kazakh people seems to be their random acts of kindness and genuine hospitality but in this book there is also a reference to its darker, yet fascinating history when it was part of the former USSR. And, despite most Westerners uneasiness with cultural events involving religious animal sacrifice, and consuming animal parts normally overlooked in more sterile cultures, on a personal level this anthology embodies several elements that feed the desire to travel.
The stories in this book had me thinking that there is indeed a part of the world that I have yet to discover; that would fulfill that sense of adventure from visiting somewhere exotic, and deliver an untouched cultural experience.