Sunday, May 27, 2007

Astana vs. Winnipeg

Ways in which Astana is a lot like Winnipeg:

Same latitude.

Same weather: harsh winters, warm summers with lots of mosquitoes.

Same population (Astana: about 700,000; Winnipeg: about 600,000)

Same geography: pretty flat with a river (the Ishim) running through the city.

Major difference:

Money. The government is pouring money into this city (much to the resentment of the rest of the country). So there is construction going on everywhere. Cranes atop almost every tall building, work crews hanging off low rise buildings refacing them, work crews on the boardwalk by the river painting railings and re-doing the interlocking stones.

Here's the boardwalk behind my apartment building. It goes on forever and is very scenic.

Here's the view facing the other way. The tall yellow building houses the Ram Store.

This is my apartment building. I live in the block furthest to the right on the top floor. This block is part of a warren of identical buildings that go on for quite a way. There is little to distinguish them from one another and I have walked into the wrong one twice.

This is the internet cafe where I buy the i-cards that allow me to access the internet from my apartment. It is a five-minute walk away. Beside it is an awesome bakery.


BT said...

I had forgotten what "internet" looked like in cyrillic, but it came back immediately when I saw it in your photo. That tells you how deeply it's ingrained in my mind because of my desperate need to be able to spot internet cafes during our long stretch in Ukraine!

Don't you love the river walk? It looks gorgeous. Did Astanians get out and walk and walk and walk on Sunday afternoon? We were astonished to see what a grand scale that went on on in both parts of Ukraine that we spent significant time in. Sunday afternoon seemed like the time that EVERYONE of all ages got out and walked and chatted. It was lovely.

Any word on the registry paperwork's progress??? ie, When can Baby hope to see more of you?

We just got back from our Sunday morning bikeride. It's a gorgeous day here in Winnipeg, and much-needed after a week of nearly solid rain. Now Peter and Bohdan are going to plant their flower gardens. This is a first, and hopefully it will go smoothly and not turn into too much of a mud fest!

We're thinking of you lots, and I loved getting to talk with you on the phone.

mk said...

Jila, Your every posting is full of stunning discoveries for me - now the city! I had no clue it was so developed and ... quite beautiful. However, what took my breath away this time was the comment from bt - Bohdan - this is my father's name who is Polish and whose mother lived through WWI, the Russian Revolution, WWII and then the communist Poland - in her life she was tossed between Russia and Poland for reasons out of her control. I have never in my life met a person named just loke my father - the more common Polish version is Bogdan. This journey of yours Jila is like a river.