Monday, August 13, 2012


Just a brief blog; this time from California!  

Sandra moved from Marriott to Isker this weekend so I thought I would report.  A typical Atyrau move....trips to colleagues to borrow suit cases, boxes, towels and other essential wrapping materials that are not provided and not easily available.  She packed and the moving men (I use the term guardedly!) took everything to the new apartment.
ISKER blocks around the courtyard
As I have said before, I really blog for friends and family, but know that there are quite a lot of people reading this who are thinking or planning to move out to Kazakhstan, and are doing their research.  I love to hear from those people, and sometimes even meet them.

But here is the thing, one of the hardest decisions and most important none-work decision is deciding where to live.  At the moment the selection of available housing is rumored to be under review, so what is currently offered may suddenly change, and it is all rather uncertain and frustrating.  

Sandra decided to bite the bullet and move to Isker.  We prefer the Marriott for the location, the views and the relative efficiency of the staff and reasonable quality furniture and equipment.  But it may not be available for ever and it is too small to really entertain she moved to shiny new Isker, with a big pool, well fitted restaurant and larger apartments located on the edge of town, near to nowhere with views of nothing. 
Location, location, location........
It was 44C this weekend so a mite hot.  The air conditioning didn't work and the engineers that were "on there way" didn't show up till Monday, when they fixed it.  Sandra was a little frazzled after having to unpack in the heat.  She couldn't do her washing as the machine didn't work and nether did the oven, but that was not needed.  The cable TV does not have much English on it, or so she says, but there may be sport and she isn't looking for that!

But here is what has really got my goat...the internet bandwidth is too narrow to support VOIP.  Like many people that are apart we spent a lot of time on Skype and Facetime.  Not any more! Not even with voice going out to a landline.  We are stuck with SMS.  

The management said that the internet meets the specification, so is not scrambling to fix it. 

So my message is, if you are thinking of moving to Isker, keep in mind that you wont be streaming videos or using VOIP to keep in touch.  Take lots of reading material and carrier pigeons.  If they fix the internet, you can eat the pigeons!

I will provide more details in a later blog when I am back in Atyrau.

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