It's been a little while, but these past weeks I have been busy working on my internship. Finding respondents for the study is challenging, but it's going quite well. I even made some friends! Last weekend I was also invited to a colleague's birthday, which was great. We celebrated at a bar where a band played Russian rock music, after which we went to a night club.
Also, this week my mom visited me here in Almaty. Although I had to work most days, on Tuesday we went for a tour. It was a walk through one of the older parts of Almaty (a neighbourhood called Malaya Stanitsa) with an American guy, Dennis, who has been living here for years and runs a website about Almaty.
First, he took us to Kazan orthodox cathedral, which was beautiful and had a large collection of ancient icons.
Then we walked through the neighbourhood, which looks more like a village than a part of this modern city filled with skyscrapers. We went to the local market where they had things like huge radishes and purple tomatoes (which is their original colour, actually). From the products at the market you can see how ethnically diverse Almaty is, with people selling foods from lots of different regions. There were also a lot of plastic toys and plastic versions of items used in prayer, all made in China.
After the market, Dennis showed us some of the houses in Malaya Stanitsa: wooden cottages that were built by the Cossacks a couple of hundred years ago. All the houses are quite colourful and have great details like carved windowframes.
Later in the week, on Thursday after work, my mom and I also went to Kok Tobe, a mountain right next to the city center. Kok Tobe can be reached by a gondola, which gives a nice view of the city! The mountain is famous for its tv tower, which is one of the highest in the world.
At the top you find a small amusement park and a mini zoo, which does not have the same standards as we have in most European countries. Really sad to see... On the mountain there is also, surprisingly, a monument for the Beatles! A local fan club put it there, and of course my mom had to take a picture with the fab four :)
This weekend we explored some of the nature around Almaty - stay tuned for beautiful views!