Saturday, December 09, 2006

Blue Cheese

Well in Kostani at the moment. After organizing Day of the Volunteer in Zhitikara I was invited to the oblast Day of the Volunteer Celebrations in Rudny (a town about 4 hours from Zhitikara on the way to Kostani). It was quite impressive! Lazer show and in their cultural palace complete with airport style security checks on entry . A world away from Zhitikara it has to be said. After a brief awards ceremony the dance hall turned into a techno club for all the guests – about 200 I would guess who were from various NGO’s working in the oblast and were all young. There were a few of the American Peacecorps there and Jena also came so it was quite fun to be together even if the muisic had a heavy beat!

Headed into Kostani to have some meetings on Friday – went to the AIDS centre were I spent over three hours chatting with someone who I think may be the director who was really interested in what I had been doing in Zhitikara and who I will meet again with a more detailed idea of how we can collaborate together in the future. I am trying to build up some strategic partnerships with my organizations and the regional centre so that when I leave they are able to enjoy some support. As the foreigner it is quite easy for me to initially get introduced to the right people so I made the most of this and met with three organisaitons. Also booked tickets down to Almaty for Christmas and went to the interpreter colleague to see Alibek, the guy who has been helping me out, and speak with his class about the practicalities of working with interpreters.

Kostani is great! There is a supermarket which the security nearly threw me out of. I just walked around looking at the stuff. Lots of great imports but all with a price tag. I found blue cheese at the cheese counter and nearly lost it. Half the block has been cut into huge pieces and I asked for half of one.

‘Can I have half please’
‘The blocks are already cut’
‘OK, can you cut me a new one?’
‘The blocks have already been cut’

At this point I was salivating about eating the cheese and was not happy.

‘But I don’t want a kilo and a half of cheese’
’But that is the only size’
‘I am sure not everyone want so much. Some will want a lot and some will want a little’
‘So can you cut me a little’

At this point I walked away but was followed by security for the rest of my time in the shop! In the end I relented and bought the blue cheese and split it with a friend so things ended happily.

Anyway enough for now.


Anonymous Paul said...

hahahaha. You have to love understanding, friendly Kazakhs!

9:04 AM  

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