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IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON…

Автор Добавил в Колонки | Tara Bond 17 апреля 2015 г.

I arrived in Almaty covered in poo, well not me but my six week old baby who had decided to fill his nappy just as we descended into land. By the time the aircraft had stopped there was an awful smell from a smiling baby and poo up round his ears! Husband was stressed, shouting to get a move on as the lady who was waiting for the VIP passengers would be gone, and we needed to be fast. Filthy babies don’t care about timings so I had to go to the bathroom and change the poor baby’s clothes and nappy and give him a major clean before stepping off that plane. After the airline toilet stunt nappy changing procedure - always a nightmare, we managed to disembark the airplane with a very tired two year old, a much cleaner baby, an extremely grumpy husband and me. We had arrived, and what really struck me most was the size of the hats of the policemen and custom officials. One small argument later about where we were to go, we made it out and we were here.

 

I write this smiling and crying because it is now time for us to leave Almaty. That baby is nearly eight, the two year old is a handsome polite child of nine, a credit to the nanny and school, not me. I now have two children who think they are English but who are really young Kazakhs. They shake a mans hand, they make toasts when we sit at dinner and always want bigger birthday parties. They celebrate Women’s Day, give me presents and make me breakfast in bed. They presume everyone has a nanny and that drivers are standard in all families! Oh what a cruel wake up call life in another place will be! We have celebrated so many milestones, made so many friends and really done so much in our time here that it is hard to say goodbye. But at one point the party has to end and it’s time to move on.

  

So what is Kazakhstan to me? Well right now it’s home and no matter where I am in the world a part of it will always remain home for me. I will miss those stunning mountains of Almaty, skiing at the weekend in winter and driving onto the steppe in summer. One enduring love is the lockers at Shymbulak that let me get out of the house with two kids to ski hassle free. How great is that! There are so few places in the world it’s possible, to drive 15 minutes and get on a gondola to ski or in summer go picnic next to a mountain stream. I also love the way you can go in-between up town and down town, shopping in the morning at the bazaar, lunch at a cafe and then off to the Ritz and the private club SEVEN for the best view and cocktails in town. Such diversity in such amazing surroundings.

 

No more Kazakh opening parties sipping champagne, or my one day tours of Almaty for visiting guests, the Green Bazaar, Panfilov and Shymbulak. There are so many amazing memories, taking two super models around the bazaar, six foot glamazons who were decked in fur, to go honey tasting. I didn’t go to any of my regular store holders that day as I knew I would never be charged the same again. Dining and skiing with princes, that was far out and dancing to the best live set I’ve ever heard DJ’d by none other than WILL.I.AM. Drinking vodka and dancing on the bar at Tot Samyi’s, or going to a baby’s rope cutting ceremony and listening to world class opera singers while sat in a garden in a yurt! The Assey plateau with scenery that blows your mind. In the time it took my husband and I to put up our modern quick to assemble tent and make camp, including the inevitable arguments, a truck had pulled up nearby and two men had erected a huge a yurt! Eating mouthwatering shashlik at a restaurant terrace on a hot summer night and coming home for a bowl of sun warmed raspberries. The tulips coming up in wave after wave of colour on Al Farabi, which was just a two lane road when I first got here. The silence of the city when it snows so hard and the way that the main roads are clear in the morning. Wow, there are some crazy beautiful memories.

  

It’s been fantastic. Almaty has changed beyond recognition. The teenager is now a young adult with many challenges still ahead but with a firm sense of itself and the path it’s following. I do hope the world get’s to see it with the Winter Olympics because this place is a gem, and should be admired. I can’t wait to come back and see Kok Zhailau, it will be an amazing addition to this stunning place. Forget the Alps it’s going to be ski and shashlik holidays in a few years time.

 

We have decided to take some time out and spend time together as a family, such a rare opportunity it has to be taken. We have bought a large truck, with a small house on the back and intend to follow the path of Alexander the Great, war zones permitting. It should be full of wonder and adventure, but oh boy is packing up taking some of the romance out of it at the moment. So dear Almaty I wish you well, I look forward to seeing you soon and as this winter melts away so do I.

 

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