|02:20 pm - finally on line again|
I just went 8 days without an internet connection. Probably the first, maybe the second time, in what, 6, 8 years? Man. I've been going insane. And I have 2600 emails, probably 2300 of which are spam, downloading even as we speak over a 56K modem. Yeehaw.
So we got here. Almaty is incredible. The elevation changes from 650 meters (2100 feet) at the north edge of town to 950 meters (3100 feet) as the city drifts up to these huge mountains. Basically there's a ridge that has to be 16,000 feet high, with several peaks well over 20,000.
Anne feels like we're cheating, I feel like we've won the lottery. Our foreign experience doesn't really feel foreign. Because of our experience in Russia, it's like we got off the plane in Anchorage or Albuquerque. We need to learn the lay of the land, the street names, that kind of thing, but we know how to find everything we need. We've already found some cheap stores (you can pay $1.50/liter for juice at the really nice Turkish store, or $0.95/liter at the little shop across the street from us), a market that we like, and a couple decent restaurants (including some of the best fries I've ever had - probably fried in lard).
I've been sicker than hell since we got here - I've had a cold since early December and it just won't shake loose - but I think I'm finally on the mend.
Rather than have one tremendously long entry, I'm going to write one or two a day until I've bored the crap out of you with stories about traveling business class and wandering around New York and the adventure we had at JFK...