Monday, October 10, 2011

Computer Shopping

Sophia has used my mom's old computer for the 2+ years that we've been in Astana, and I'm afraid it's finally breathed its last. So I decided to look into buying her a cheap netbook or notebook here in Astana. I'd heard of Tekhnodom, an electronics store, and on Saturday we went there.

Since I know very little about computers, and not enough Russian to converse with employees about computers, when we went inside the store I took out a pencil and my notebook and starting copying the information about the netbooks. ALL of the information, since I didn't really know what would be useful or not. (The plan was to email the information to my dad, and to ask his advice.)

An employee attempted to speak to me in Russian and found out that I didn't speak Russian. He must have gone to find an English-speaking employee, because soon one came up to me and said that I couldn't write down the prices, it was not allowed.

I explained to her what I was doing, and she said okay, although her okay seemed to come more from resignation (how can you argue with someone who doesn't speak your language) than from agreeing with me.

The next day, I went to a computer store, Beliy Veter (which means "White Wind" in Russian.) I'd been to this store my first year, the school's IT guy had called it the Best Buy of Kazakhstan, and it was seriously disappointing in that respect.

Maybe it was because I was with my Russian-speaking friend, and maybe it's because Beliy Veter has better service. But an employee was very helpful, and when I started to copy information into my notebook, he said no need, he could print out all the information (included price) for me.

The computers were a bit more expensive at Beliy Veter, but better models. Also, Beliy Veter has a service center and a one-year guarantee. I'm pretty sure that when I finally get around to buying Sophia a computer, I will do so from Beliy Veter.

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