- The bus system there has maps that explain where all the buses go in the city. (After 1.5 years here, I've kind of forgotten our confusion when Peace Corps could not get us a bus map for Almaty.) They don't have that here.
- Beer is delicious! And there's tons of different types. (I was so happy to hear this. It reminded me of the Athens BeerFest days. I have become an exclusive drinker of Shymkentskoe to the point where I'm not really sure it's good anymore. But it's my brew here.)
- People on the street smile and say hi. (A few weeks ago she caught me saying hi to some neighbor children on the stairwell and said that was probably weird for them.)
- They have service in the restaurants! The waiters want to help you. (Non-existent in most of Kazakhstan, where apathy is usually better than a noted disdain for the customer.)
- The guys were polite enough to use the phrase, "ladies," when they said, "Good night, ladies." (Here the common expression is Zhenshiya (woman) or devushka (girl). I always wondered if people here thought it was rude. Now, I think, maybe?)
She goes to Italy in March for the next step in the conference. I really don't know how she'll eat here after that.