We made it! We landed with huge smiles on our faces. Once in the airport lobby, we were met by our driver, Alexander, a really nice guy, took us into what seemed like the back rooms of the airport. Have to admit, I felt nervous. They took our temperatures, smiled and said welcome. Phew! Felt weirdly like a leg of the Amazing Race. What we have been the most curious about are the number of people wearing masks since we have arrived. (both in Astana and Petro: in the shops, airports, etc. People teased me back home when I bought some -...now we're wondering what is going on and should we be wearing them!) There does not seem to be any cause for concern.
It has been quite an experience so far and we are learning to roll with the punches. This morning on the way to the airport, I found myself giggling in the back seat of a very fast taxi, enjoying the sounds of Kaz rock and kinda getting into the groove. I looked at Yannik and he told me...this is fun!!! (ok, I admit, it was a bit scary... even Sven commented once we got out of the car).
We are now all settled in in our apartment. It is pretty nice. Not sure about the reliability of hot water, but we're trying to make do. Alexander took us to the Iceberg (a grocery store) and we were pleasantly surprised by the items offered.
Other impressions so far: the people are beautiful. You just smile and look confused and they warm up to you (I tend to do that alot). The women are extremely fashionable. We were also lucky to catch a glimpse of two brides on their wedding day.
Tomorrow we meet Irina and hopefully she will be able to give us a tour of our surroundings.
Good night from Petro!