Thursday, 25 February 2010

Kazakhstan Is Where I Am

And it's all white, it's frigid, it's quiet. It's eeriely beautiful.





And here I am for about three weeks, keen on experiencing a polar winter.


And where hubby is stationed at the moment - the capital city, Astana - the snow does look permanent, the temperature hovering between minus 30 and minus 20 degrees centigrade.

 The frozen River Ishim


 The Offices Precinct of Astana


Our gracious Kazakh family says "Welcome to the south of Siberia".... ok it's not quite polar, but still.
And to think that one year ago we had showed them Cyber Ria - the apartment block in Cyberjaya when they came visiting (read about it here "From -33 to +33")

From left: Zhanara, Azizali, Yerlan



You DO NOT go outside for no reason.

And when you have one, you make sure you have on over your regular clothing, thick socks (or two layers of tropical cotton ones) and boots, a really warm coat or anorak, with head-cover, and gloves.

 On the river bank testing the chill with my ungloved hand


And then you hunker down and rush off to wherever - you can't stop and chat or admire the scenery for very long, because if you do, the chill bites into any exposed skin in seconds and if you happen to have a runny nose, it freezes in an instant (ok I'm just assuming that because I haven't seen anyone with a runny nose here).

So far, I am enjoying this change from the gruelling heat  of the Klang Valley. Here I do not sweat, and strangely I am not as hungry. I have had no headaches as yet, and I feel somewhat rejuvenated. They say Kazakhstan is where healing cosmic energy from the universe concentrates.

But despite that, if I do feel under the weather, would I be brave enough to try a Kazakh massage? I don't know.

Do click on my Facebook badge from time to time for more updates and pictures.

Till next time.


__________________

27 comments:

Kama said...

oh my! What a lovely place to be! The cold, the thick snow... bestnya!

NanaDJ said...

Zendra,
How nice! What an opportunity to be there. Enjoy!Please post your pics here. Am not in your Face Book.
Salaam

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi Zee & RA,

Wah sound like u guys r having a nice & cosy time there in Astana tho I must say that place looks a wee bit deserted. Well that’s good in a way that I could be quite comfortable there since I hate crowd & frenzied places, me agoraphobic maybe?

Your first line; “And it's all white, it's frigid, it's quiet. It's eeriely beautiful”. Remind me soooo much like my very first experience in………hehehe, never mind.

Have a pleasant & safe stay there, most of all have fun & gain some beautiful memories there!

Cheers,

Tommy

P/S – Say hi to my buddy Borat Sagdiyev (Kazakh journalist) if u happen to meet him. He’s the infamous celebrity there…kekeke.

Hope u don't mind me messing up your place whilst u're away :))

mamasita said...

Hai Zen, I thought so after dropping by your laaaaaast post..then I told Dato'..I rasa diaorang pergi Kazakhstan..waah..honeymooney sambil kerja eh??

Glad to hear you did not catch a frozen hingus..yikes!

Асхат Еркімбай said...

MashAllah! Welcome to Astana. Try to visit Almaty also.

Zendra-Maria said...

Kama, NanaDJ, mamasita, wish you girls are here with me to melt the ice and paint Astana red hahaha

Zendra-Maria said...

Tommy, was Ah Soh white, frigid, quiet and eeriely beautiful? hehehe

If that be your taste you'll love the ladies here too *winks*

As for Borat, I'll send him your regards if he introduces himself to me :)

OK don't worry lah, we have friends here - RA on an assignment. Just hope they don't have hidden cameras in the hotel room ;)

Zendra-Maria said...

Ashkat! Rehmat, Insha Allah we will visit Almaty... :)

Capt's Longhouse said...

,,,just wow !

kay_leeda said...

Talk about chillin'! You are looking good even though all wrapped up :)

Enjoy the cold (coz it's so da*n hot in USJ!!)

mekyam said...

awesome place, zee! guess the white stuff stay unmelted longer there... beautiful!

i've also been enjoying the pix at your fb. khazaks in general, who of course know better, stay indoors, yah? hence there are no astanians to be seen in those pix, gamaknya.

won't surprise me at all if the headlines of the astanian dailies the next day had a picture of some crazy foreign woman taking off her gloves to take pictures in below 30C temp. hahahaha!

but you look très chic in your furred hoodie. :D

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Shaking me head, oh Zee, u sure got a one track mind….hahaha… I was just referring to my first experience in Antarctica lah!! Ah Soh is more like your Siberian Tiger, she growls & roarrrrr…kakaka.

Wah this must be the first time, Capt’s comment just so short & sweet!

TGIF guys, have a great one.

Tommy,

P/S – Zen, Astana got sell Ice kacang or not?

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Zendra, wow! You sure at an exotic country.
You keep warm and have a great time...
Have fun, Lee.

Zendra-Maria said...

Kay, guess both of us are sitting in our own cosy cocoons now - you in air-conditioned comfort, me in a t-shirt in a warm hotel room. The weather outside be darned hehehe

Zendra-Maria said...

Mekyam, I think they were all at their windows laughing at the crazy tropical sapien jakun...

I find that fur hood a little rimas. It blocks all peripheral vision, but my Kazakh friend insisted that I kept it on. Won't want to have one of my ears fall into the snow, would we? ;)

Tres chic? hahaha merci beaucoup - spaseeba - but actually am feeling as chic as a battery hen

Zendra-Maria said...

Tommy, gosh you went to Antartica? I was there too but I didn't see you? All I saw were penguins.... hehe

Capt now got 3 blogs and an fb to upkeep, not to mention the rumah panjang. That explains the 2-word comment - no time maa. However some other people can afford to leave PS's summore

PS - what ais kacang? here they even have ice-cream goreng!

Zendra-Maria said...

Dear Lee, will do... keeping warm is the priority here.

There are may exquisite examples of exotic beauty here to add to your phtotography collection, if you are interested, hehe

Raden Galoh said...

bestnye akak.... i am a roast in the making here in my home... heheheh

miss the snow badly...

Kak Teh said...

zendra, and here in london we moan about the snow flurries! Take lots of pictures, but too bad am not on FB.

Zendra-Maria said...

RG, awww... wish I could send some back to you... :)

Zendra-Maria said...

Kak Teh, it was up to a mild minus 5 degrees today - and quite pleasant as well.

Sure do, will post some pics soon :)

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Wah Zee, I tell u hah, this post had manage to attract all my favourite idols makciks here, now I feel like a ‘Happy {cold} Feet’ penguin….hahaha….simply awesome!

This one especially dedicated to my fellow ‘homeless’ people (as in no Blog mah) mekyam & nanaDJ;

Manhattan Transfer Live in Tokyo

Cheers to all u wonderful pppl,

Tommy…shivers….

P/S - Zen, Kak Teh might know Borat too :))Maybe living next door!

Mat Cendana said...

I've been fascinated by that frozen river since I saw it at Facebook. I see the Kelantan River practically every day, and it too will no doubt be frozen like the Kazakh river should the climate be the same.

I'm suddenly thinking about Germany's siege of Stalingrad and Moscow during World War II where many had starved. But winter had saved many when their Soviet comrades from elsewhere managed to avoid the German blockade by driving supply lorries across the frozen river.

Red Alfa said...

@Mat Cendana

I am reminded of "when hell freezes over...." as if there is the possibility of Kelantan River will freeze! Would lusciously green and tropical Kelantan suffer temperatures minus 20 or 30 degrees Celcius. Of course it will happen if that is to be Qiamat!(or when UMNO suddenly gets to rule Kelantan in 2012? hehehe!) ...Yes, we must believe it can and shall happen as Allah s.w.t so wills!

Red Alfa said...

@ Mat Cendana

In WWII, fascist Germany did lay siege to Stalingrad after having reduced it to rubble in the first of many more "shock and awe" blitzes of the millineum!

I think it must also be the first of the stunning defeats of the genre "high tech shocks and awes" giving to classic reversals by low tech asymetric/guerilla type warfares.

Having experienced such temperatures in recent days I can fully appreciate how the sub sub zero temperatures had contributed greatly to the total destruction of fearsomely high tech aggressor of the time who had fatally underestimated the icy coldness of a continental winter!

mekyam said...

zee, don't forget to regale us with the exotic kazakhs food you're tasting everyday there in the heart of eurasia, esp in these colder months.

heard they fix really awesome mutton. have you had a chance to taste those famed shuzhuks yet?

tommy, thank you much the manhattan transfer retro fix. love the music but can't help rofling over the fashion. nowadays they would be considered in costume. :D

Mat Cendana said...

@Red Alfa
I had gone to read again about the Battle of Stalingrad at Answers.com. Had spent an hour doing so, at the expense of `more urgent matters'. That's the downside of the Internet, if you have poor discipline like me.

In the early 90s, I had subscribed to a WW2 series by Marshall Cavendish. Every week, the focus would be on some aspect of the war - Pearl Habour, Battle of Britain, South-East Asia etc. Plus this "Second Front" by Hitler, of course.

Besides the magazine issue, there'd be a reprint of some newspaper during that time. I remember a food ration's card in Britain - all these help give the reader a general feel of the situation when it was happening.

I wonder how the war would have transpired had Germany not attacked the Soviet Union. Or if the Soviets had remained neutral. Germany might have remained a superpower had they persuaded the US and USSR to end the war in Europe.