About the Cart

While in Mongolia ten years ago, I got addicted to savory manty dumplings. My friends joked that we’d start a dumpling stand & make dumplings from around the world… but then we realized that a food cart is a lot of work. I’ve dropped the job plan, but kept the name. And instead of cooking up sweet little dumplings, this blog gathers thoughts & stories that I hope are just as interesting.

dumpling cafe by ht, on FlickrAbout the Author

I’m a librarian with degrees in anthropology and libraries, and enjoy researching social life, post-Soviet countries, genealogy, and plenty of other things. I worked for several years in Kazakhstan, and those posts are still very popular on this blog! I also have a mostly dormant blog of art showing curvy women in a positive manner at Shapely Women. A few other web credits:

Many of my academic articles and presentation slides are also online. With that, note that this is a personal blog and doesn’t represent my professional life. I know professional contacts can find this (hi, friends!) but it’s not a portfolio. Instead, this blog is a record and reflection of a changing person over the past ten years, and a way to share out thoughts in a space that’s independent from larger media players online. I ask you to bear with me, with grace, and keep that in mind.


  1. Thanks for turning this blog public. Reading on my phone and don’t see a place to subscribe. Will you offer that? I too found Kazakh names fascinating and write about it in my book.

    1. Thanks for the comment! Google reader should track the RSS feed if you simply put the URL in, and there should be an “email me new posts” sidebar, although perhaps that’s invisible on a phone. I’d love to read what you’ve written about Kazakh names!

  2. Susannah

    I’m so glad I found your website. I was searching for information on working as a librarian abroad (seems like I got a lot of hits for librarians in Kazakhstan!). I am working on an MLIS/MEd Instructional Tech with my specialization in academic libraries. It seems like many librarians jobs abroad are sponsored by schools who want you to have your school media licensure, which I do not have. I would love to hear about your experience you gained before going abroad (anything, lay it on me), and how you found your job, etc. Many thanks and love!!

  3. Cee

    Susannah, I’m so glad this is useful. I know at least ten westerners who have cycled through libraries in Kazakhstan and I think it’s been a great experience for most of us. I’ll try to get a blog post going about how I went abroad and found my job… and send it to you soon!

  4. Yeldos

    Hello, Celia
    I accidentally came across the website and find your posts very interesting. Being a kazakh citizen, it was nice to know your view of our country, customs and people. The post about how to catch a taxi in Astana is absolutely true:) By the way, you don’t live in Astana anymore, do you?

  5. Cee

    Hi Yeldos,
    It’s good to hear from you! I don’t live in Astana at the moment… California instead, but would love to return. Have you been to the expo?

    1. Yeldos

      California is my dream place to visit actually. Especially Hollywood:)
      I haven’t yet. But I certainly would go. Maybe the next week, on 4th July, it is a Day of the USA in EXPO.

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