Friday, April 19, 2013

And where will we put the new chicks?

Swaths of Boston - where we have family, quite a lot of family,friends and memories - are hunkered in basements and behind closed doors, and staying away from windows for fear of a single surviving Chechen brother and the firestorm that surrounds him. Between checking the Internet for the latest terrible news, and listening to NPR interviews of random people who happened to be in Cambridge early this morning, CSB and I are engaging in heated words about the abode for the new chicks (broilers & game hens) that will arrive next week. CSB is suggesting that for their first week at Let it Bee farm, they could live in the downstairs bathtub: lined with newspaper and straw, and with the heat turned on. I feel strongly – I am in fact adamant and immoveable – that never again shall chicks live inside the house. The amount of dust generated by chickens is oceanic and incomprehensible. Are chicks born with an internal and inexhaustible supply of dust in their veins?
I know slightly more about chickens than I do about Chechnya. But that will change.

In classical times, the residents of Chechnya were the Circassians, the Avars and the Zygians. They have fought more or less constantly since the 1400’s.
What do they speak in Chechnya? Chechen and Russian. Chechen uses the Cyrillic alphabet (mostly), which only partly accounts for why I do not understand it. It belongs to the Vaynakh or North-central Caucasian language family, of which Ingush and Batsb are also members.

Currently, the only tourism in Chechnya is “extreme tourism”, a category that includes both bungee jumping and nuclear fallout zones.

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