Monthly Archives: August 2016

no back no pain

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Remember I told you about my friends who invited me to Esik a few days ago? Well, one of them is a physician. “Is there something wrong with your back?” She asked me a few times. No, I tried to lie. I am a bit of a hypochondriac, so it’s hard for me to trust […]


a holiday that wasn’t

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I spent the day in Almaty. Another day. I had come up with a plan: I was going to leave after Constitution Day. And Constitution Day was today. I figured there would be parades and festivities, and I wanted to see all of it. But there was nothing. Kazakhstan had been shaken by terrorist attacks […]


epic shit

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There is one thing that I only just realized today: I somehow can’t seem to leave Almaty! Every other day I find myself going back to the front desk in the hostel where I’m staying at just to tell them the same thing: two more days please! Why though? I think it’s because a) I […]


modern competence

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So I returned to Almaty. Walking around the city at night I found some strange German signs: This word “competence”, while not being of German origin linguistically, might be one of the most German words ever. In fact it is so German that a politician from Bavaria once came up with a “competence of competences”, whatever […]


hooligans

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One more day in Esik. We decided to go see a waterfall. It was called Turgen Waterfall, and everybody here seemed to know it. I imagined it to be huge. Well. First we passed some trees that had a lot of pieces of cloth in them, just like the big tree I had seen two weeks ago: […]


the lake that was there

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We went to a bazaar to do our shopping today: I like bazaars, or markets, or whatever you want to call them. And I like them not only because they are picturesque and personal. I like them for the quality of their produce: It’s basically just local farmers taking their stuff to the market. So […]


sport utility tractor

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In case you haven’t noticed already: I really like Almaty. The city has a very nice atmosphere to it, the people are friendly, and the surroundings are spectacular: I went to a Georgian restaurant today and had the most awesome dish ever: Sacivi Сациви: If you don’t know it already, look it up. Trust me. Maybe it […]


shashlik & beer

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There is a mountain just south of Almaty. It’s called Kok-Tobe. A cable car leads up to its top, and there you can find an amusement area and some restaurants. I came for the view: Had some shashlik and some beer while the sun went down: And then stayed a little longer… …looking at Almaty… […]


papyrophobia

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I rarely say this, but today was not nice. It all had to do with bureaucracy. The thing is, I am on a 30-day visa here in Kazakhstan. This visa was going to run out on the 27th of August. Today being the 23rd, I figured I would not be able make it to the […]


tourists and cathedrals

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I took a nice long stroll around town today, looking for a certain Zenkov Cathedral. Being in Almaty felt good: Being a tourist felt good: And the cathedral turned out to be very nice: It was completely made of wood. They say not even a single nail was used in its construction.


winter is coming

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I left downtown Almaty today, the place of shopping malls… …and cool kids: Well, I didn’t really leave, though. I just went out for the day. First I took a cab to a place called Medeu, which was about 20km south of Almaty. Then I hopped into a cable car: And then I was in […]


three to one

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Today was going to be one of those days to run around town, taking care of things. First I needed camera lens filters. I had brought the wrong kind from Germany. Someone pointed me in a certain direction, so I went there. I noticed that Kazakh drivers usually stopped for pedestrians at crosswalks: …and that […]


pink Lenin

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My hostel had a corridor that was red: And my room was pink: I rarely ever left it. Except for one time when I went out to get some food and water. That’s when I noticed that some of the shops here were selling imported German products: Milch Drink, I thought, Schokogeschmack, ultrahocherhitzt. Pink Lenin […]


Almaty

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When I woke up I noticed that the rooms had an interesting pricing structure: I figured that people who rented a room for just two hours probably needed it in order to play a nice game of monopoly (albeit a quick one). I didn’t have anyone to play with, so I massaged my legs and […]


the canal road

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Today was going to be easier than yesterday. Less km, less traffic on the road. Someone had told me about a village with a hotel about 30km to the West and about an alternative road that ran about 5km south of the main road. So I went looking for it: I could see the mountains […]


the other room

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I knew that the day was going to be long. So I got up early in the morning, when the hotel was still asleep, and I left the key in the door. Then I got on the new road: It was quiet walking. Good walking. One time I passed a graveyard: And sometimes I saw […]


Pinocchio

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Another day in Shelek. I spent it mostly in my room, in my bathrobe. One time I went out and had something that was advertised as “döner kebab”: Okay. I liked the lemonade that I got along with it though: It was called “Soviet”, and if you looked closer, you could see that the guy […]


non-alcoholic Mojito

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Stayed in today. The Caboose was in a good place: I went to a bazaar, bought some yoghurt and some water and looked at some carpets: Then I went to a restaurant to eat something: This is where a gentleman by the name of Karim was just having dinner with his friends. He was an […]


space pants

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Woke up with a song stuck in my head. A very very very very very very very very very very good song. So the walking was easy: And the burden was light. First I came through a large gorge. There was nothing in that gorge (people later told me that it was full of wolves […]


flies that bite

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With practically no sleep during the night before, I got up early and packed my things. Then I got going. The road wasn’t good: It went on like this for hours: Once I ran into tourists, two young men with backpacks. They had apparently asked a cabbie to drop them off at the canyon. The […]