Astannaaaa

October 31, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

The past two days have also been filled with hard work and some really snowy and windy weather. It’s snuggley weather definitely so it’s a little bit hard to be alone. I’ll work backwards. First Happy Halloween.

Tonight I had the WORST “Indian” food ever. Thinking about it now makes me nauseated. I was the only one in the restaurant and I think I know why. The one redeeming thing about the restaurant was that they played Snoop Dogg in the restaurant, and I absolutely Adore Snoop Dogg.

Earlier today, I ate lunch at a Turkish restaurant in the old part of town and before that went to the Beach! Not the real beach obviously as Kazakhstan is landlocked, but a beach on top of the Khan Shatyr tent mall… the largest tent in the world. It was very cheesy but a lady showed me around because I was asking all sorts of questions about the “beach club”. They have a wave pool, a kids pool, a regular pool, and sand from the Maldives! If you join the beach club you can have free access to the fitness center. You can also buy a six month pass that makes the daily rate much cheaper, if you’re interested.

It was so freezing today and extremely windy. I also wore summer pants which was a very silly idea.

Yesterday, I had a Fabulous dinner “Kazakh national cuisine” at a fancy restaurant. The Kazakh national bread is like donut balls but not sweet. When the servers ask you if you want some they say something that sounds like “Ballsack” but actually they are saying “Bursan”. I know this because I asked someone to spell it for me because I couldn’t believe my ears. HA!

Before that, i went up to the Bayterek monument, the “symbol” of Astana. It’s supposed to represent a bird flying out of a nest. I put my hand in the handprint of the president and took a picture because that’s what you do. I found it pretty dirty as so many people’s hands have been there! Great views from the top of the monument as well.

Before that was the first time I went to the Turkish restaurant I visited again today. One concierge recommended it to me because I expressed a strong desire for Turkish food and the Turkish restaurant in the hotel was closed and I hadn’t eaten breakfast and couldn’t wait until 4 when it opened on Sunday. At this non-touristy restaurant, there is Zero english and because of the language barrier, I ended up with an unbelievable feast. Meats, salad, vegetables, that awesome bread that they grill and it pops up like a balloon. I had lots of leftovers but gave them away.

Before this, I slept late and did a lot of walking. I promise many pictures as soon as I get to a place where pictures will upload to the web site!.

Love,
Annie

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