For Aunt Yulia and Uncle Alex, coming to Ulan-Ude for a visit always includes a warm and exciting reception from Selmeg (4) and Arsalan (1.5), our niece and nephew. Selmeg, which means clear, or clean in Buryat, at this moment is waggling her tongue at me. Her three minute pout under the desk (she really held out this time), because I won’t chase her RIGHT NOW, apparently is over. Persistent Selmeg asks to play hide and seek, chase, ride horsie back or play “Angry Birds” on the iPod in a continuous battery of questions. She “helps” computing on my lap, but can’t hold her peace two minutes before again beginning to wonder aloud just when will I chase her? It’s been soooooo long since I chased her!
Arsalan, at a stoic one and a half, warms up more slowly, but before long is lifting his arms heavenward when we shout “hurrah!” Arsalan, “lion” in Buryat, is fascinated with the washing machine going round and round and round again. Oh, the power one has when he can turn on the washing machine. Magical!