Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Snow and Heat in Almaty

We got SNOW!! Not a lot but we got snow. It has been so warm here so it was a little bit of a surprise. They keep telling us that it has been an exceptionally nice fall but now it might change. It isn't a lot of snow but it has really changed the speed of the drivers. They have slowed down and we are quite relieved. They are still crazy but we were worried if they kept going the way they were there were going to be a lot of accidents.
Shopping in the markets isn't quite the same now that it is colder--hanging around in these shipping containers when it is cold and damp is not real nice.
Our car is still broken and who knows when it will be fixed--the mechanics are very laid back , always smiling and definitely on Kaz Time. Right now we have managed to borrow a vehicle from the school for the past 5 days and hopefully we can keep it until they decide to look at the car again. The vehicle we have right now is a Niva--believe me, we are getting the real deal of a Russian vehicle. The kids are bouncing all around in the back seat and there is a belt that is quite loose so it makes this squealing noise all the time. Pedestrians get out of the way before they even turn around to see what is coming their way. I should quit complaining though, we are very thankful that the school has a vehicle that we can borrow. We only made it halfway to school on Monday morning--we had to take a gypsy taxi--we found out later that we had ran out of gas. No one told us that the gas gauge is broken. When the gas light comes on, that means you have 10 more kms. Well, we know now!!
They turned the heat on in the apartment. It still is weird not to have a thermostat in the apartment and to think that the only way we can control the heat in this place is by opening a window or putting on another sweater. I guess when it gets a little colder they will turn the heat a little higher. Should be interesting.
I wish I could put a picture of the kids bouncing around in the Niva it is pretty funny. Sometimes there is a bit of a bang in the back seat and one of us will ask--are you okay back there--Oh, I am fine, just hit my head on the side. I will try to take a picture this week.

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