Sunday, March 9, 2014

We've moved

Written by Robyn on February 10, 2014, but neglected to post until now.

Yes, we're still in Kazakhstan. But we have changed apartments after 2 months.

While there were things we  liked about our former apartment, it had been completely renovated before we moved in. Before we moved in that sounded like a good thing. But after living there we realized it was unfortunate.

Astana, being such a new city, does not yet have a high level of service available, and there is a dearth of competent workers - as in plumbers, builders, electricians, tilers. What that meant for us was a number of things that didn't work, including some essentials. Drains that wouldn't drain. A brand-new dishwasher that didn't work. An enormous television that was useless. Of even greater concern was that every few days we would encounter new problems, some of them nervewracking (cracking and sinking shower floor!), leaving us to wonder what else would disintegrate.

When we asked our landlady to fix these problems, she would make a fuss, and eventually decide it was too much trouble and she was going to sell the apartment instead of trying to manage it. We had a one year lease, but that didn't seem to matter.  Regardless, we didn't push back, considering ourselves lucky to be out of the place and the problems that we hadn't yet discovered. And, on to find another apartment.

On the up side:  Kevin and I were able to look at places together and choose something that suits both of us. And, it was a little bit of sightseeing to tour new buildings in new neighborhoods.  We also had the benefit of a few weeks on the ground. Not long, but it gave us some sense of what location we'd like to be in. and a perspective of what type of apartment we'd be more comfortable in.

On the down side: while we had help moving through my company, we had the hassle of moving again, in sub-Arctic temperatures, and this time without the assistance of professional packers and movers. While not a full move -- we moved from one furnished apartment to another just a few blocks away -- there were still our 8 suitcases, 12 boxes' worth of air freighted items  and groceries to pack, transport and unpack.

The move itself took less than 2 hours to transfer our belongings from one place to another, with help provided by some locals. But after all the packing and unpacking of the last few months it's taken about 3 weeks to gather steam to empty all the suitcases and boxes.  Last one finished last night.

But we are much more comfortable in the new place. We ended up in an apartment that had been owner-occupied, which means that things work (well, for the most part). and there are hooks in the places we want them. and lights where we want them. We'll do a virtual tour of the new digs at some point. but here's a sneak preview of some of our oh-so-snazzy lights.
Kazakh style
How many times have you moved lately? 


  1. Thank you very much, Robyn & Kevin. We will be relocating to Astana later this year (from Malaysia) and have been reading your blog. It is very informative. We also like the news feed at the bottom of the page.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Ann. Glad you've enjoyed reading our stories about life in Astana.