We have made it to our final destination in Kazakhstan!! We arrived in Petropavlovsk on Friday night about 7:30 after two relatively short flights from Almaty. It is C O N S I D E R A B L Y colder here in Petropavlovsk that in Almaty.
We were greeted straight off the plane at the airport by our Interpretor who is just a wonderful young lady. Our driver was wonderful too. He had NO small task getting our ridiculous amount of luggage in his tiny little car (while we waited in the cold outside, me in my nicely insulated Nike Sneakers... NOT!) They took us to the apartment we will be in until Tuesday, when we will then move to a slightly larger apartment closer to the baby house. As soon as we got all our stuff in the apartment, and I changed in to my boots, we left for the Iceberg (local grocery store.) Because she was with us, we did not dawdle, but I can't wait to go back and spend a bit more time looking around. There are definitely brands you recognize by logo, if not by words. I spent 5,538 tenge!!!! (That's only about $40.00). Not bad for a few days worth of food and not having a clue what we were picking, etc.
I will say, expiration dates here mean nothing. I meant to check in the store, but it didn't cross my mind then. (Not sure it would matter, I think it may all be expired.) I just ate a yogurt that had a date on it of Jan. 10. At least it was 2008. The Pepsi light I bought (diet Pepsi at home... ) expired Oct. 10, 2007. Mmmm-mmm flat. At least it's a little caffeine. I have a feeling I'll be drinking less and less while I am here. They were out of my favorite, Coca-cola Light.... Oh well. Flat diet Pepsi will suffice.
They say it was -20 when we were at the airport last night. I believe that was celcius, but nonetheless, it was COLD. My toes were numb in my sneakers before we got to the apartment. The boots saved me and are doing wonders today as well. When we ventured out of the apartment to come to this internet cafe, our glasses immediately fogged up. Useless. We removed them. I have a short coat, so my legs are cold outside, but everything else is very warm. (The chin is difficult to keep warm, but we are learning.)
We should have our first appointments on Monday here and then hopefully head to the main attraction!! With any luck, Monday will be our big Day 1. :)
The flights here from Almaty were interesting. I'll describe them later, but suffice it to say, the planes were exactly as described to me before which was a little daunting when you first see them. We are here safely and soundly though, so no worries! These pilots sure know what they are doing on all this snow and ice. It is amazing in the air, basically as far as the eyes can see is snow, snow, snow and white, white, white and land, land, land. Amazing. If I ever had a thought of Siberia in the past, this is what I had in mind, at least from the air!
The apartment is quite sufficient. Cute little place. Cordless phone. I went to make coffee this a.m. though and you have to light the gas stove with a match. I was terrified. I don't like matches and gas, so I waited until mom got up (TWO HOURS LATER) and made her do it. It was not a big deal at all, but now I know. I'd never done that before, except with a gas grill that practically took me out, so I was a little afraid. This was tame though, so I won't be afraid again and I won't be waiting for her to wake up again before I have my morning (instant) coffee. :) It really isn't that bad. Nescafe.
As I said, Monday should be a busy day. We will be moving to a larger apartment closer to the main attracntion on Tuesday. I don't know the city well enough yet to know where we are in relation to much, but I'd say we are 8 blocks from the Iceberg and 1.5 from the Doner cafe at present. We haven't had much luck with our computer yet, but we're working on that. Mom bought a surge protector and when plugged in the light that should light up that says it is grounded isn't lighting up, so we are afraid to use it. ANYONE who MAY know something about this, please advise! The computer has it's own converter, and we have the adaptor with the surge protector, but again, the surge protector light lights up, but the grounding light does not. DOES THAT MATTER?? It is a Euro-surge if anyway can find out anything, we would greatly appreciate it so we can use our computer at home instead of the cafe if possible. THANKS!
Thanks for all the emails and comments, we sure loved having them to read when we signed on again today. Now that we are here, I hope to make it here often or to be able to use our Laptop, better yet! :) Hopefully it will be more communication.
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers, we love them all! WE MADE IT!