Friday, 8 January 2010

New Year, new house, new blog

Happy New Year! Kazavida blog has turned one year, we moved back to Sweden and bought a town house in Stockholm, my baby is not a baby longer, Vince looks like a little kid.

It took me a little longer to decide to blog or not to blog. You can follow my new blog at This blog will be about my passions : food, cooking, photography and of course my little son. Hope you can find this blog both tastful and tasty -- Anastasty!!!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Ciao Kazakhstan!

Tomorrow, the 29th of August it's time to leave Kazakhstan. The contract is over, a bit earlier than planned, but it's fine. I'm head over heels to come back to Stockholm!Can't wait to meet my family, friends, colleagues. I've missed you guys a lot. My home is where my dearest people are and that it so true.

Living in Kazakhstan has been a nice experience, different one due to the pregnancy and Vincent's birth. Today our best friends, by the way expats from Tunisia, came to say goodbye. "Sosed", we miss you but definitely meet you in Mahdia to drink mint tea and eat tons of baklava.
The question is:" What to do with the blog?" Should I close it? or find another topic, which is probably my baby by now. If you have any ideas, pls write.
Vincent -- the Kazakh man!

Baklava to die for!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Adventures in Thailand

I have definitely less "free" time now (and as a consequence to update the blog) since Vincent sleeps only few hours during the day and the rest of the time goes to entertainment, playing, feeding and walking.

We've survived our first long-distance trip. Now i think I can take Vincent everywhere, almost everywhere except some extreme cold, hot and high spots on Earth. It's possible and even joyful to travel with babies if prepared. Thailand is a great country to stay with kids: good infrastructure, high -quality medical services, friendly people (especially to kids), wonderful food at any choice, nature, beaches, etc. Extreme humidity and absence of baby car seats whatsoever were two inconveniences for us. The contrast between air-conditioned rooms and sauna-like outdoors was tough for Vincent, he was sweating a lot often wearing a sweat moustache. Here area few pics:

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Vince goes Thailand

Tomorrow we leave for Thailand for the first vacation together with our baby! It will take us 6,5 hours by plane, 2,5 hours by car to Rayong and 20 minutes by speed-boat to Koh Samet island. We have planned to go to Pattaya and Bangkok, maybe Koh Chang, 10 days in total. Our hotel reservation is so far for two days on the island. It's low season in Thai, no need to reserve the hotel for whole period. Hope everything wil go just fine, breastfed babies should be easy to travel with. Vince has got new baby carrier, stroller and sunglasses. Ready for the trip!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Let's go fishing!

Yesterday I did fishing for the first time in my life. We went to Turgen , famous for its waterfalls and a trout farm. The fishing experience was fun but short.The trout farm has several ponds where trout is bred and it's impossible not to catch anything among thousands of fishes. In 20 minutes we got 8 fishes and in another 20 minutes we were already eating them. There are several ladies who cook the fish for your and serve it with salads, bread and drinks. Call it fishing for lazy ones but it was nice time we spent there. Highly recommended!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Baby update

Vince is keep on growing, he weighs 9,2 kg! I wonder how big he can be. On Monday he will be exactly three months and his doctor will probably give me another advice for Vince not to gain to much weight. As soon as he is healthy and happy I don't actually bother. Isn't he sweat? :)

Fit ball training with dad.

I think he looks like a little boxer!

Let's stretch!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Dancing salsa in Almaty

1. Beginning Dancer: knows nothing.
2. Intermediate Dancer: knows everything; too good to dance with beginners.
3. Hotshot Dancer: too good to dance with anyone.
4. Advanced Dancer: dances everything, especially with beginners.”

Obviously salsa has conquered the world and Kazakhstan is not an exception. There are three salsa schools in Almaty and two latino clubs (Cuba and Copacobana). I cannot advice on them since our baby-life does not get along with a club life ))) . Here you can see some shots from an open-air salsa dancing. If you are in Almaty and love latino beat, don't miss the event (Sundays, Kirova-Kunaeva str in front of the fountains). By the way I was surprised they danced bachata as well.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Paradise 70 km away

Last weekend we went to the Kapchagai Lake, located just 70 km to the north from Almaty.
Kapchagai Lake is a man-made reservoir formed in 1969 for the purpose of building the Kapchagai Hydroelectric power station. In the absence of the sea (Kazakhstan is a landlocked country) Kapchagai attracts people from Almaty and vicinities. I was amazed that an artificial lake can be so beautiful:

On the way to Kapchagai, the closest town has the same name. The road to the lake is in a bad condition, which is quite strange, it's a popular place to go, so the government could have used the taxpayers money to renovate the road. They say, Russia has two age-old problems: fools (often referred to governors) and bad roads. It seems, Kazakhstan suffers from the similar problems. Watermelons, melons, apples, honey are sold on the wayFinally at the destination! The entrance fee to the beach was 1500 tenge (10 USD). If you have any food or drink with you you have to pay 4000 tenge (25 USD). Probably the restaurant folk would not have any job if everybody came with own food basket. R looks at the menu, Vince looks at the lake.
Me and Vince, my big boy!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Vince can swim!

When Vince was one month old we took three lessons from a swimming instructor for newborn. First day I was watching how my baby get massage and got into the water in the hands of a experienced instructor. The second day it was my turn to repeat the whole procedure. What should I say, it was not an easy job for anybody, especially when I had my precious little boy in my hands. Since then we repeat the whole procedure with massage, swimming, going under the water for 4 seconds and few seconds under the cold water called acclimation every day.

Vince learns how to handle himself in the water. At first we helped him to hold his head with a pair of ribbons on the bonnet with five foam rubber blocks. The bonnet calls here " mermaid bonnet" ;)
Now he can float with three blocks himself! He moves through the whole jacuzzi ;)
Ohhh, going under the water is a hard job!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Mountains and shashlyk

Yesterday we escaped to the mountains from the summer heat. 30 minuted from the city and you are in the peaceful chilly place. Here are some pics:

Somebody turned the party music on and ppl had fun dancing.

Dinner: Shubat ( dring made from camel milk), baursaki ( fried doughnuts) and shashlyk ( grilled lamb meat)

The happiest family It was quite chilly so Vincent got proper cloths

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Internet and politics -- Livejournal banned in Kazakhstan

For two weeks I have not been able access Livejournal website -- the biggest blogging platform in Russian. It turned out that LiveJournal has been banned in Kazakhstan since October last year, but I was among those 10% who still could have access to the platform.

At first there were no official information why Livejournal has been blocked, but the unofficial reason was said to be Rakhat Aliyev blog, ex son-in-law of the President Nursultan Nazarbaev. Rakhat Aliyev is a political opponent of Nazarbayev, lives in Austria and has been granted political asylum.

In May 2009 Kazakh authorities recognized that LifeJournal has been blocked due to political reasons and court decision to "stop spread of false information".

Some states still believe that deliberate political censorship is possible in Internet. There are two things they need to take into account:

-Information is accessible via different ways.
- The forbidden fruit is sweet.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Hot summer and fountains

Summer in Almaty is really hot, it's better to take siesta or stay inside between 11.00 and 17.00. Average temperature of July is the same as on the islands of Sri Lanka or Kalimantan. Average temperature in January can be compared with north of Finland.

I like Almaty summer for two things ( so far):
1.For it's warm breezy summer nights with it's special smell. You can go out in t-shirt at night and don't bother to take a jacket with you.
2. For it's fountains. Perfect for dry and hot summers. There are 125 (!) fountains in the city (wikipedia knows everything). Again, I like fountains at night, especially those with floating lights. Here you see pictures of different quality but all of them are original without any Photo shop tricks.


Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Summer is here and we are back

We are back after three weeks of joy, sleepless nights, long walks and intensive growth. Take a look how Vincent has changed:
With daddy (about 1 week old)

little-little legs

6 days old

6 weeks old (6 kilo)