Monday, December 9, 2013


We made it.

A red-eye from L.A., Thanksgiving week in Rochester, a whirlwind stop in DC for training, a layover in Frankfurt.  We reached Astana just after midnight the morning of Thursday, December 4 with five suitcases, 4 carry-ons, 3 laptops, and one winter coat. (One misdirected suitcase unfortunately sat in a UPS hub somewhere in Virginia and we are today still anxiously awaiting its delivery.)

Astana's airport is new and with room to grow. This means it's still small.  This also means we made it through customs, collected our bags and were on the well-lit road to our new home within 30 minutes of touching down.  (The same process in L.A. could easily take 2 hours!). Our driver, Sasha, met us at the airport with "Saint Ilya," a giant with a minivan who lugged our heaviest suitcase (*exactly* 70 lbs!) like it was a small sack of potatoes.  Swoosh, whoosh. In the cars. Swoosh, whoosh. To our new apartment. Swoosh, whoosh. Up to the fifth floor. Swoosh. Bags inside. Whoosh. Sasha is saying "goodbye."  And we are left to our own devices.

We find ourselves parched and exhausted from the long trip in an overheated apartment covered with a fine layer of dust from the recent renovations and without any running water.  A quick tour later and we have found four sets of spigots in the apartment but can't  figure which ones control the taps. No bottled water with us.  No stores open. Too late to call Sasha. No help available from the hotel I stayed at previously (except for offering their last available room for $582 until noon checkout).

Not a life or death situation but in the moment, all we wanted was a hot shower, a cool drink, and a rest. You've been there, right?

And then the heavens opened and angels started singing as we noticed a small hotel sign in the courtyard of our complex.  We walked over intending to book a room if they had one.  No vacancy, but we were happy to find some bottled water for sale.  With the thought of some fresh water to brush our teeth enough to get us through the night, we headed back home to settle in until morning.

And since then we've been doing just that...settling in, which has largely consisted of cleaning that fine layer of dust from our new place.  It will take a bit to make this apartment our own, but we look forward to doing just that.

When would you like to come visit?


  1. So glad you made it safe and sound! Looking forward to hearing more about your newest adventure.