Monday, October 10, 2011

A Good Restaurant Next to Artyom

On Saturday, after sleeping in and resting from the full week and Fall Festival, we went shopping. We had several things on the list--most importantly, an autumn coat for Sophia. She has a light raincoat plus some sweatshirts, and a below-the-knee, down-filled winter coat. But lately she's been rather cold--it's too cold for mere sweatshirts and not yet cold enough for the winter coat.

We went into the shopping center across from Artyom. I've mentioned Artyom, this huge, crowded shopping complex, many times before (for example, in these posts from November 2009, November 14 2009, September 2010, and, most recently, September 2011.) Yes, judging by how much I've written about it, you might be quite surprised to learn my first time in the shopping complex across from Artyom was just 2 weeks ago. I'd gone in to look for speakers at Tekhnodom, an electronics store someone had recommended to me. I'd only been on the first floor of the shopping complex.

There are several small shopping complexes behind Artyom and a half-block down the street from it. I'd finally managed to visit most of those , but not this one. It has a sign on it saying that Ramstore is located there. Ramstore is the grocery store closest to me now, and one that sometimes has peanut butter.

So two weeks ago, I went in, and noticed a sports store that seemed bigger and nicer than MegaSports (*the* sports store in Astana, but maybe no longer!)

First, we went to Tekhnodom, then we wandered upstairs. There are four floors in this thing! Most of the floors sell furniture--some furniture in stores, some out in the open. But there are several other smaller stores.

Begemot, a toystore, was on the top floor. I noticed that it seemed to specialize in non-brand-name stuff, knock-offs of Barbie and My Little Pony, with bad English. Sophia enjoyed it though.

The cafe on the top floor was your usual Kazakh diner--food seemed greasy.

But on the third floor we found something I wish we'd found earlier--a clean, cheap Italian restaurant. How many times have we been hungry while shopping at Artyom! Artyom has a cheap cafeteria on the top floor, plus a crummy pizza restaurant, and nearby there are sketchy places for shashlyk (Kazakh kebab). But this place was nice.

We sat next to the window, watching the crowds in the streets outside, and for $10 we had a medium-sized cheese pizza, a small Greek salad, a milkshake, and a bottled water. Not bad.

Then, after several hours in the mall, we finally made it to the sports store, where the first thing we saw was an girls' autumn coat, in light blue (Sophia's favorite color) and on sale. Super.

Now Sophia has a coat to keep her warm in this weather, and I know where to go when we're hungry and shopping at Artyom.

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