Saturday, October 1, 2011


Sophia's bicycle is broken - something happened and the handlebars could no longer turn. With the help of one of my assistants, I took it to the bike shop I'd found at the end of last year. (See previous entry.) My assistant filled out a form with her phone number and we left the bike there.

About a week later, they called saying that they couldn't fix it, at least not without some part that they didn't have. Their best guess was that we might be able to find it at the bazaar. So now I have to find some time to go with my assistant, first back to the shop to figure out what piece we need, and then to the bazaar to hunt for this piece. Ugh.

It stopped working only a few days after I'd bought my bike, so I've rarely ridden mine. I was so excited that we'd finally be getting around Astana a bit faster, on bike rather than bus or foot, but we're back to being pedestrians and bus-riders.

Today Sophia was at a friend's house all day, and I had some shopping to do, so I got to ride my bike. First I went to the bike shop to buy myself a helmet. After I'd gotten a helmet, the guy who'd helped me get it followed me outside to check on my bike. I obviously seemed clueless, and not just clueless in the Russian language but clueless about bikes too. He checked the tires and said that they needed the be pumped, and he brought out a pump and did that for me. Then he asked to ride my bike, I let him. He didn't seem to impressed with my bike. He used the word "tyazholi" which google translate says means heavy or hard. But he didn't seem to be too alarmed, and he let me ride away, didn't insist on fixing anything. So I hope it's okay!

(I bought my bike at a bazaar, it was cheap, so I'm sure it's cheap quality.)

I rode away, finished my shopping, and it was nice to ride a bike and not have to wait forever for a bus. I wore my helmet, despite most likely looking ridiculous because nobody here wears helmets.

And I'm glad the guy at the shop seemed concerned about my bike, even though I couldn't understand him. I came in for just a helmet, and he cared enough to check out my bike.

Hopefully, my bike will last me the remainder of my time here in Kazakhstan.

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