Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day 1: Astana

After a good night sleep in Kings Hotel Astana, I woke up pretty early at 6 AM as I am an early riser and unpacked my things. To my dismay, there was a iron and a kettle already in my room but I have had carried the same from India. :-( Anyways, after my unpacking, got ready and met Vishal and Sri for breakfast at the lift lobby. The breakfast was a complimentary from the hotel and it was huge. There were lot of varieties and to my surprise there was rice as well. :-D Even though it was not spicy, it was still rice which makes me close to Chennai. After our breakfast, we met Siew Yin (Our Team mate for #ibmcsc Kazakhstan) in the Reception and all four of us decided to explore the place around the hotel and have our lunch.

Ishim River View 1
 We headed down to the river Ishim where we walked for about 1 km atleast along the banks. This river is so different from the ones back home. In India, there is no definitely banks and it is full of soil but here, the river is so streamlined and managed well. As usual, I was the fun factor for Vishal and Srinath. All the jokes were on me and in addition Siew Yin joined them. We had a wonderful time walking around because the climate was so also nice. On our way back, we tried to exchange the currency to Tenge and shopped for some bananas, butter, etc.
Ishim River View 2
 The lunch is altogether a different and an entertaining story. We were looking for some restaurants and all the places had sign boards either in Kazakh or Russian. We found one restaurant with the sign board "Fast Food". It was a Japanese Fast Food place where the waitress and none for that matter can understand English. To top it, the menu was in Kazakh. :-( We had tough time ordering as none of us could speak or understand the language. We actually were using the sign language for showing Chicken wings and Chicken legs. Finally the waitress was able to find someone who could speak English and we managed to have a good Japanese meal for lunch. The restaurant also managed to give us a 30% discount. Yeppie!! :-) It was sunny on our way back to the hotel - it was Chennai sunny guys.
Sri and Vishal confused with the Menu
Our Menu

Thats my Lunch - Chicken with Cheese with Rice. It was Yummy!

On our way back to the Hotel
After reaching the room, I did some blogging and uploaded the fotos. Srinath, Vishal and I had some coffee and tea in Sri's room and had some very great discussion just about everything around us after which we watched a movie - Rockstar using my HD. :-D The movie was good and thought provoking. It was around 10 PM when we decided to have some dinner. Believe me or not, this city is busy after 10 also. We could see so many people during that time also. We managed to find a light music bar called Bear Resturant as Srinath wanted to shake his legs. There was light, music and of course drinks but there was none on the dance floor. So, Sri didn't get a chance but we will make sure that we go back there again. This restaurant had a English menu and so it made our ordering easy. Our Waiter asked us which country we were from and when we told him India, he was like 'wow' and the next minute we could hear a Bollywood number. :-) People in Kazakh are so sweet and welcoming. I am not sure if the same would happen back from where I come from but listening to some Hindi songs in a light music bar just because we were among them was great. I had some mushrooms for dinner and other two had Omelet with fried tomato. After our dinner, we headed back to our rooms and turned in for the night.
Thats a Crow

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