I spent most of today waking around Almaty with Nauan and his girlfriend friend Medina. We saw a monument to the woman sniper and Manshuk Mametova, a woman machine gunner.

We did an orientation session at the university, they gave us badges saying ‘I love KIMEP.’


The monument is just opposite the Kazakh-British Technical University, which used to be the parliament building of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. It’s a shame I didn’t bring my camera because it’s very grand. For the moment, here is a picture of the State Museum we saw yesterday:


Tonight I’m going to watch the Perseid meteor shower in Republic Square. I’m sure the astronomers at Baikonur spaceport will also be watching. Brennan has upgraded his 3G phone connection to a 5GB limit, so I’m able to upload photos now. As a compromise I’m now browsing the rest of the web with images and flash turned off. It’s a lot faster, and it uses less bandwidth. We have resolved to buy Brennan a present by way of thanks for the use of his mobile internet connection. I have a feeling we might end up relying on it until the end of the year.

Last night we had vodka with the French students from across the hall. They’re friendly. We also found a kettle and a refrigerator which will stay in the coridoor. Today Brennan went to the market and got an electric stove, so we will have everything we need to cook.

Laundry is also sorted out, we’ve put up a makeshift washing line on the balcony and have got a bucket to wash clothes in. The only other luxury we’re missing is a proper shower. At the moment there is only one shower for two floors of the hotel and all the international students staying here.

We found out yesterday that the 4th person in our room turned up, took the key and left without dropping it off at reception. In the meantime the caretaker has been locking and unlocking our room upon request. None of us have seen this 4th person, though apparently he is from Russia.