There were no planned visits with any children today. I guess we are trying to view this as the “vacation part” of our journey as we wait for news.
Today we walked about the city again. From what we can ascertain, though the population is 250 000, the city is pretty compact and it's an easy walk from one part of the city to the other. It looks the majority of people reside in apartment complexes. There are not many houses. Petrop has this particular smell..I think one parent described it as fabric softener and I agree ;0)) Such a sweet smell to the air. There is unfortunately alot of diesel exaust as well.
We walked by the beautiful mosque today. Irina, our interpretor, explained that it was opened on the same day as the local church in order to symbolise peace and tolerance. We thought that was really neat. We also walked by luxurious houses nestled between alot more modest ones. This dichomoty struck us. It's the same as with vehicles. There are many luxury SUVs and BMWs parked besides old trucks.
We went back to the Pizza House as we now have made it our home away from home! The pizza and coffee are good, Yannik can play with friends in their play area and Sven can work on the computer. One peculiar thing to North Americans: the immaculateWC is a series of stalls for both women and men. I had to get used to it.
Yahoo... Ivan, our landlord, came to Yannik's rescue. For those with children travelling to Kaz and plan on taking devices such as DS...the normal converters are too powerful. You need one with less than 80 watts. We searched unsuccessfully for days. With our limited Russian, his limited English and our handy dandy Franklin translator, we explained Yan's problem and he just dropped in with one!! Yannik hasn't looked up since...he's completely absorbed ;0))
Finally, for my friends who know how much I love the baggy look – I fit pretty bad in this city is all I can say.... I might actually end up buying the right size clothes in order to fit in ;))....no baggy jeans allowed! We ventured into a high end mall today and I was going to treat myself but “cheaped” out....