Almaty, Kazakhstan (2016)
Shopping in a foreign language is a challenging experience. There are the dangers of purchasing the wrong item, being unable to trace a product’s authenticity, and the ever-lingering question of whether you were “ripped off” as a foreigner. In the end, however, the rewards far outweigh the risks. These bowls invited me into another appreciation of beauty, a different manifestation of craftsmanship, and a bumbling, disarming mishmash of Russian, English, and universal hand gestures. I didn’t end up getting any bowls, but I got so much more than I bargained for.