Saturday, September 11, 2010

Return to the American Libary & Artyom!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Sophia & I left the maid, still cleaning, at 1 pm, to meet another teacher, L, to show her where the American library is. Really, it's an English-language library & American-style coffee shop, run by an American, not an "American library". It's called Eagilik, and it can be rather hard to find the first couple times.

This is Ls first year in Astana, first time living abroad since before I was born, and I was quite happy to help show her around. We took bus 18, which drops you off right in front of the library. Except that the library is hidden behind some other buildings, so really, not noticeable from the road.

We went inside, said hello to Martha, the owner, and L instantly made friends with her and then with another American, who lives in Almaty and knows some of the teachers at our school.

Sophia was happy to have her chocolate cake and hot chocolate again. Then we picked out 3 books and 2 DVDs. My co-worker signed up for an account.

Next, we let Sophia play on the playground outside the library before heading off towards Artyom.L had been there before with some other new teachers. There is no bus that goes from our place to Artyom, compared to last year there were several. It's a few blocks from the library, so that's not bad.

Some of the other teachers had walked the 3 miles from our place to Artyom! Sure, the weather's nice, but I'm not sure Sophia's ready for that much walking.

L is a great shopping partner; like me, she enjoys just wandering around the markets, seeing what there is to see--the little vendors in their little stalls. Everything is crammed together, there's lots of people and lots to see and very few price tags.

We first looked for shoes for Sophia in some of the market-stalls next to the 6-story building that is Artyom. Then we went inside Artyom and on the second floor looked for household items. Then we went back down to the first floor--and indoor market of food, full of colors and fantastic looking fruit and vegetables. I bought raisins and nuts.

Then we went into a large-ish room, crammed full of tables and stalls selling household items, toys, makeup and toiletry items, and school supplies. We each bought a "Chinese bag" -- a large tote that can carry quite a bit -- for 350 Tenge (a little over $2). Sophia bought some bubbles.

It was getting late so at this point we headed home. I had plans to visit Khan Shatyr that evening with my Kazakh friend & her child.

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