Robby's World
Stretching the Legs!
Finally Going to Almaty

January 9-13, 2009

Bad news, his passport did not come back in time for me to make it to Almaty on Sunday, so I am here until Monday night at 11 pm. What a yucky time for a 3-hour flight with a baby. I think infant Tylenol will be our friend. If it does not come on Monday then the passport will not make it to me until Thursday as there will not be a flight on Tuesday and the one on Wednesday is another night flight. Who schedules these things? I know it is cheaper to fly at night here (taxes are less at night) but certainly one daytime option would not kill them! This could potentially set me back 4-5 days because the places I need to go are not open on weekends! Ugh!

Ok, done whining for now. The three German couples got their children – they are so big! Adorable, too. One has Asian features and the other two more Russian. They are between 18 months and 2.5 years old. We had their welcome to the Pushkin party and the kids seemed to enjoy it. Robby loves it - now he has kids to interact with!

Robby felt much better today. He still has a little cough, but much less worrisome. I think the 2 teeth shadows I saw might be bothering him a little. We hung out again and I carted him in the walker around the hotel for something to do. I really don’t think he enjoys it much though.

Aliya also came by and I gave her present to her. She had translated the caregiver notes for me and did a great job. They wrote such nice things for him. We did go out for a few minutes. I needed to change some money but the bank was closed so we went to the machine. It was snowing and windy but he took it like a trouper. This was his first time in the hip carrier and with his snowsuit. He hates having his thumb covered up, so the pacifier was a good thing while trussed up.

Kate called to say his passport DID come in :-) Maybe I will get out of here by Friday!! Any way, we are all packed and ready to go. I did end up going to the bazaar and getting a bag. Only 500t which is like $4.00, so not bad for a suitcase size tote bag. It has the added bonus of holding everything it needed to, mostly clothing. I had to leave the water kettle but I can buy a new one. It was only $11.00 so it won’t kill me. I may not even need one at the hotel. I am going to the Hotel Kazakhstan. It has all the basics I need: takes Am Ex, laundry, Internet, and a restaurant. They also have the bonus of having rooms available. Next week the Germans will be coming and staying there while they wait on their paperwork, too. Two of the men have to leave and go back to work. This is unfair. The moms get 3 years off but the men, only a month.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have arrived. Alamty welcomes us!
Ok, no it didn’t. At first it spit us out again. Fog. Again. We were diverted to Astana for 6 hours. My boy is a trouper folks. He was well behaved and only cried once. We ran out of diapers and he still did not complain. He smelled some, but did not complain. We finally arrived in Almaty at 2:00 in the afternoon (instead of 2:30 in the morning). Wait, you think, the time does not add up. Kati, you believe, cannot count. Well sometimes you are right. However we did circle for 2 hours or so, then had to fly to Astana, and then had to wait for our luggage, and then through the hours of them trying to figure out whose plane gets to go first. At least none of the luggage was missing. Gotta love traveling.

FYI, just a tidbit – The Astana airport actually felt and looked like a real airport. Nice, clean, new, shops, airline counters, etc. I thought, ‘how appropriate for the new capital of Kazakhstan. One of the local travelers then told me that the airport is owned by the President’s mistress! Which came first? The change in capital cities, the airport or her position? Hmmm…

Hotel Kazakhstan is not quite as advertised. The common areas, the view, and the architecture are stunning. However, the rooms are tiny and horrible. I do not know how they earned a 4 star rating with these rooms. But I can do anything for 2 days. I can do anything for 2 days. I can do...

Robby & Aliya
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