Thursday, November 10, 2011

An English-speaking tailor

November 2011

For the most part, you don't need to speak the same language as a tailor. You can walk in, show them the tear in your coat (or whatever) and they can fix it. It helps to know times and numbers (for prices) but a large knowledge of English on their part or Russian or Kazakh on yours is not necessary.

There are a lot of tailors here; every mall seems to have one. The top floor of Artyom is full of cheap ones, and I learned my first year that taking something in to a tailor is cheaper and more convenient than pretending that I'd get around to sewing it myself. (Although I have sewn some things myself!) Like shoe-repair people, they're pretty cheap--a couple hundred Tenge (a few dollars) for the jobs I've used them for (fixing tears).

But this time I had a ballgown I wanted fitted, and so when a friend recommended an English-speaking tailor, I was more than glad to listen.

I took the dress in on Saturday, and by Tuesday evening it was ready. It cost me 2300 Tenge (about $15.50) and the tailor did a better job than the tailor in America who'd first fixed it.

So... in the rare chance that somebody reading this blog wants to find an English-speaking tailor, here goes my directions:

Start at the Mega shopping center. Walk past the circus and cross Kabanbai Batyr Street (the first big street you'll meet). The Kaskad buildings should be in front of you (the tallest of these buildings has a sign for "Turkish Airlines" on top of it.) Walk straight down the small street, so that Kaskad is on your right. The supermarket Alma is part of the Kaskad buildings, also on your right. A hotel will be on your left.

You'll walk about a block more after passing Kaskad, and probably start to wonder where I'm taking you, since it seems like just a neighborhood. But after about a block, a small, two-story shopping center will appear on your right. Enter by the first door. There will be stairs on your right; go up.

Upstairs are several small shops, walk straight down the hall until you get to a small set of steps; go up them. Directly on your right at the top of the stairs is a tailor--that's her!

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