Thursday, 26 February 2009
Friday, 20 February 2009
Thursday, 19 February 2009
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Actually, it's cheaper to go to the 2,5-hour performance in the Drama Theater or 3-hour opera then to go to the cinema. It's still communist prices -- 5-10 dollars for a ticket to the theater. And as you see, the closest theater of opera and ballet (the yellow building behind the blue one) is just across the street from us:
Saturday, 14 February 2009
You need to split a sausage in two parts leaving one end unsplit. Then you connect two spare ends together by a toothpick. Now you can fry eggs in the sausage. I took quail eggs, three for each sausage and some green paprika. Garnish with dill and leek ( green onion).
That's what I got from my dear R. He knows I like flowers ;)
Friday, 13 February 2009
me on my driving today.
They left a little note on the windscreen,
it said 'Parking Fine.' So that was nice.
If you are looking for parking lots in Almaty, don't waste your time. You can park wherever you are able to put your car. Parking on the pavements is also ok, as you see. Just be careful, your safety is not guaranteed.
On the other side you see Almaty traffic police, called informally "schtraffmen" among expats.
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Monday, 9 February 2009
The necessary part of the wedding ceremony in all post-soviet countries is a wedding train of several cars. Usually the couple rent limos (hummer limousines are very popular, the more the better ;)) for a tour around the city sights with the guests. The cars are decorated with ribbons and flowers.
In Almaty the couples lay flowers at the so-called "eternal fire" place in memory of people who died in the World War II.
Even if there are some couples who live together without being married it is not always accepted by the society, especially of they have children. So the average age of getting married in Kazakhstan is 24 for women and 26 for men.
The traditional Kazakh marriage usually takes three days with lots of different rites. There are three important aspects: marriage is forbidden to any couple related over the past seven generations. In addition, the male should be older than the female. Finally, the nomadic tradition of stealing a bride is still practiced, although rarely, by some Kazakhs.
Wednesday, 4 February 2009
Yesterday the National Bank of Kazakhstan devaluated the tenge by 25% from 120 to 150 tenge to the dollar. Officially. On the black market there were crazy rates up to 180 tenge to one dollar. One might think that it was a predictable trend and that Kazakhstan would sooner or later follow the devaluation of the Russian ruble. Yes, the story is very similar to Russia but way too extreme. In Russia the devaluation went gradually but in Kazakhstan everything was done by one step creating enormous panic...
An interesting fact, that just a couple of weeks ago, Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Bakhyt Sultanov had promised that the tenge would be devalued by less than 10% in 2009.
Personally I had a déjà vu from the Soviet times when I saw the empty shelves in the grocery store. The grocery store didn't sell some products, they simply took away them. Another big supermarket, opened 24 hours was literally invaded and people bought everything to spend their tenges before the prices went up. The stores selling electronics and electrical goods suddenly closed for a " re-calculation".
It was said, by the Kazakh officials, that the devaluation was necessary to boost the national economy and "support the local producers" and that the prices for the local products won't go up. The biggest lie ever:
1. The goods produced in Kazakhstan are marginal, most of the goods are imported.
2. The goods produced in Kazakhstan are made from and depend on the imported commodities.
3. The prices have already gone up.
Most of the people who get their salaries and pensions in tenge are 25% poorer today. The biggest losers are ordinary people, as usual.
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
It is really funny watching the belly moves, kind of belly dancing from inside. Sometimes I see a hard round lump sticking out, I guess my baby demonstrates his bottom to me ;)))
This is my message to all pregnant women: Be proud!
Sunday, 1 February 2009
After sushi we learned how to make salad Syake-Sarada, fried rice with vegetables and chicken teriyaki. Here is the salad: