Monday, September 8, 2008
Medeo in The Mountains
On Sunday, there was a bus trip--organized by the school--to head up to the mountains. We decided to join them but we took our own car and met them up there. It wasn't too hard to find but we had a few distractions on the way. We were pulled over two times by the police. Not a really enjoyable experience. They look over all your documents, get a little excited and mad. Then they kept speaking to Dave like maybe, miraculously he would begin understanding Russian. Either way, it took some patience but Dave just let them go on for a while and they let us go with out any tickets and we are really going to try our best not to use bribe money. People have suggested to just be patient and wait them out and the police will get tired of you and just let you go. The police are pretty questionable here and if they try to get in your vehicle with you that means they would like to see some money change hands--preferably theirs!
Otherwise, we had a great time in the mountains. There was no garbage here--it was truly amazing. I guess the fines are pretty huge if you litter in this area--might help that the rich live on the way to the mountains. They have a set of stairs that go up the big hill--we did them--there were 840 steps. My calf muscles are a little sore today--the kids ran up them like no one's business. The other attraction at Medeo is the huge ice rink or right now it is a roller rink. It was pretty neat but we couldn't get too close--they wanted 2500 tenge to skate there--equivalent to about $22.00. The ski hill is pretty close to this place too but I think it is going to be closed this winter b/c they are getting ready for the 2010 winter games.
Took another picture of the Kazakh grandmas--all decked out in their Sunday best.