My holidays are almost over (that's right, in British English vacations are called holidays), and I'm just about ready to go back to Kazakhstan. My time at home has been awesome. I got to see so many people and places and spend a lot of time with my family. I caught up on some new American trends (e.g. fro-yo, gourmet cupcakes, craft beers in cans, Millennium trilogy). I got to eat a lot of good food. And I will get to participate in St. Patrick's Day! Also related to holidays, Kazakhstan will have three days off this year for Naryz (Central Asian New Years). That's the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd.
Maybe this is just from the people I know, but in general, most of my colleagues and friends never know when the holidays are in Kazakhstan. I remember working in Zhualy and I told my boss in two days we had some holiday. He had no idea. This year my co-workers and friends seemed to have no idea that Wednesday (the day after Naryz) was also going to be a holiday. It's been on the calendar for months as a "red day." (Holidays and Sundays are marked in red on Kazakhstan calendars. Although, I think for the calendar I made for my work, I didn't make the 23rd red. This could have led to the confusion.) This just seems so different compared to America. We plan ahead for months. One of the first things we did as students was to map out when our holidays would be so we could plan to go on trips or things. In Kazakhstan, based on my anecdotal experiences, this does not seem to be the case.
Also, I missed International Women's Day. I didn't celebrate it this year, but I thought about all my wonderful women friends in Kazakhstan. I should be back to celebrate the New Year, but hopefully I won't be too tired to try some scrumptious Naryz Kozhe.