Monday, October 4, 2010

Cribs Kazakhstan or Lifestyles of the City Volunteer

What to blog about…


The more time I spend in country, the harder and harder it is to think of bloggable things. Like this weekend, Mark, Jennie, and I were walking back from Frisbee and I saw this security guard standing on the porch of a jewelery store with a rifle slung over his shoulder. He overheard us speaking in English, and said hello and asked us to stop and talk with him. We told him that we didn't have the time, and we kept walking. Random people with weapons wanting to speak with you on Sunday mornings, sounds kinda strange, but really not a big deal.


I already blogged a little bit about this, but about two weeks ago I changed apartments. My old apartment was big and cheap and had pretty good amenities. However, I was tired of leaky showers and rocking toilets. I mean it's nice to have them (sorry village volunteers, but if you visit you can use mine), but I want them not to be a hassle when I use them. Finally, my previous landlady told me she wanted to increase my rent, so I decided to test the market. One of the women we know from ZhamZhas said she was moving to Almaty and wanted someone to rent her flat (apartment). I checked it out, and it was glorious. This place is Posh Corps if there ever was one. I have a washing machine, microwave, refrigerator, cable TV, a huge kitchen, tons of cool kitchen gadgets to try out, and even a mattress. I never realized that I have always been sleeping on futons or stacked up pads in this country. But finally, this is a real, comfortable mattress. It's amazing. (Come to think of it, I had been sleeping on futons in America for ten years or so, but aside from the one in Illinois, it was always a very comfortable futon.)


The only two things that could make it better would be a shower head that can be mounted to the wall. You have to hold it the whole time. (Wow, I sound so spoiled typing that sentence. Can I imagine myself in twenty years at a RPCV gathering? Yeah, I had to hold the faucet for my indoor heated shower the whole time. I couldn't even suds with two hands! Life was hard.) And an oven. For teacher's day, I wanted to bake something for my co-workers but I had no oven. (Instead I had to order pizza for delivery. That's something to blog about! The first time I've had pizzas delivered somewhere in over two years!)


Also, the new location is superb. It's about five minutes closer to my office, which will cut off 50 minutes a week from my walking time. And it passes by my favorite donor stand and cabbage peroshki lady. Plus, there is a giant super market across the street from my house.


I'm ready for my third year.

Coming soon: Blog about Kazakh theater

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