|View of the Eastern edge of town from |
the top of the ferriswheel in Gorsky Park.
Navigating the Blogger site in Kazakh was also a challenge. I finally figured out how to choose my language and have the directions in English, but for a while it was dicey whether or not I was going to be able to do that.
Things at school are also a bit unpredictable. The supply order for this school year that was ordered last November hasn't arrived yet. We have nothing. We were told to use paper sparingly, which means I can't print out the syllabus for my students, and I have about 3 pieces of chalk. When my computer, the internet, and the school's server are all working at the same time (a rare coincidence) I can use my projector, but the computer often locks up in the middle of a PowerPoint presentation with a message saying something like I do not have permission to view the remaining slides (of the presentation that I created).
With the exception of the school supplies, these minor inconveniences are somewhat endearing. I'm told that I'm in the "honeymoon" phase of living abroad; that I will become more annoyed with living here as time goes on, and even become spiteful. Somehow I don't think so - I genuinely like this city. The people here are so kind and willing to help. My mode of transportation currently is my bicycle, and I often get lost when going to new places, so I'm constantly having to ask people on the street how to get here or there. They are always tolerant of my broken Russian and my requests to repeat their answer more slowly, and point me in generally the right direction most of the time.
|The little turtle looked out of place in the flowerbeds |
of a small park in the center of Almaty.
I really can't complain too much, however, because it's instantly apparent the second I start going in the wrong direction. The mountains are always visible, and they are to the south. The entire city slopes downhill to the north. Since my main mode of transportation is my bicycle, I know immediately when I'm headed in generally the wrong direction because I have to change gears. School is north of where I live. It takes me 25 minutes to bike to school, and almost 50 minutes to bike home, so the slope is decent. If I find myself going uphill when my destination is to the north, then I know I've taken a wrong turn.
|Sculptures in the center of town.|