Thursday, 12 February 2009

An early weekend in Almaty

Friday night was a leaving drinks for a guy who actually already left but who had come back to celebrate his new life in Luxembourg with a small cocktail at the Kazakhstan hotel (times are tough and no more fancy schmancy events are to be held at the most expensive hotels in town, according to Moscow head office).


Mainly the party was full of HR personnel, the usual expat crowd who go to everything, and his other colleagues.


The food was pretty ghastly (although in Almaty, even the worst looking food usually tastes better than you expect because of the delicious nature of the fresh produce here), so noone ate much, and by the time we all went next door to the pub at about 9.30, everyone was pretty well oiled.


The pub in question is the dubiously-named Guns and Roses pub: hotel bar with a rock theme and on Friday nights a live band. Actually, the G&R is not at all bad. A previous visit surprised with a really excellent cheese bacon burger. It is massive with lots of leather booths and a dance floor and loads of staff who mainly speak English, and as a result it is pretty much a favourite hang out for the expats in town.


Last Friday though, there were heaps of people we knew in there: a large girls night out, our office party and then the usual guys who are always in the pub no matter which pub you go to and on which night of the week. It must be a lonely life if you are here as a singly, and so no surprises that they head out for a beer and some company most evenings. The telly is crap!




Friday night was late and beery, and so we woke up on Saturday feeling under par (but not so bad as to want to give up on the day). We had a quick fry up and then got ourselves into gear to pack up for a day at the ski slopes. Hungover this, of course, took about four times as long as we would have liked and so we didn’t leave until about 10.30.


Spent the day at Chimbalak taking it in turns to look after the baby and go skiing and it was a pretty good day. Apart from the fact that by the time we had suited and booted everyone and carried all our kit and the baby in her pushchair up from the lower car park (it deffo pays to arrive early) to the café I felt like we had done a days skiing.


We were supposed to be going to another party that night, but I had failed to find a babysitter and it was probably a good thing. We were totally finished after six hours at the slopes looking after the kids, and went to bed at 20.11!!

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