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Kazakhstan

I was there for 5+ years

I was there for 5+ years

Postby duncanwil » Wed 29 Jan 2003 08:50 GMT

Dear All,

I lived in Almaty, Kazakhstan for five years, ending in August 1998; but have been back several times since and worked for a company with an office there for most of 2002. I remember a lot and have contacts of locals and expats still there if you need info.

Duncan Williamson
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Kazkahstan jobs

Postby irishal » Tue 15 Apr 2003 13:20 GMT

Hi Duncan,

I worked in Atyrau for the whole of 2002 as a field engineer. I would dearly love to get another job in Kazakstan. If you could give me any information or contact address's for firms, i would be eternally grateful.

regards alan christie.
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Postby Krane » Wed 23 Apr 2003 02:43 GMT

Hello.
Almaty. Well, the last time I was there in 2000, it had such air pollution/smog that I was surprised everyone isn't cancerous;
Seems gangsterism is rife, and the economy is in ruins; Neo-nationalistic sentiments --against white Russians and Uighurs-- is a spooky fashion among male Kazakhs; and it still operates under a very soviet-style bureaucracy--everything is overkill!

As for Almaty as opposed to Kazkahstan: ALMATY IS NOT KAZAKHSTAN; the difference between Almaty and Kazkahstan is the difference between Albania and NEW YORK City.

Warning: White American/European men are HIGHLY DESIREABLE by the incredibly impoverished women of Kazakhstan. SOUNDS terrible to say, but the women are easy, and most AM/EU men know it well! They enjoy being in Almaty because they can be STARS-- whereas back home they are just business schmucks/engineer nerds. So if you are a white AM/EU schmuck/nerd needing to have impoverished women adore you--ALMATY IS THE PLACE FOR YOU!


That said. I'll qualify my opinions by stating that my family is from Kazakhstan. :!:
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and for breakfast you ate?

Postby duncanwil » Wed 23 Apr 2003 06:48 GMT

Dear Krane,

Not getting enough ... porridge, that is?

What you say about Almaty is true and entirely misleading. A man or woman from Europe and America can find a companion very easily. Then again, the majority of people I met (and I met and worked with thousands as I was a teacher in a large Institute) were honest with a high sense of morality and not all foreigners were on the pull by any means.

The Nazarbaev dynasty is strong and wealthy and the mafia is there no doubt. This morning, by contrast, BBC London announced that London may be in the middle of gang warfare and we have a Monarchy, Aristocracy and Establishment that has been with us for many, many centuries.

The anti Russian movement is evident but it was worse in 1993- 95 when up to 1,000 of them PER DAY left the country. This was a typical post colonial backlash following independence. Right or wrong, this happens everywhere and even if we don't like it, it happens: Kazakhstan for the Kazakhs is the cry of many. Watch Iraq for the same, look at post colonial Africa for the same, look at India and Pakistan for the same and so on.

I spent 99.99% of my time in Almaty but must accept that Almaty is not Kazakhstan.

Finally, my wife is from Almaty and I can assure you that she took some wooing!! :D
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Definitely too much porridge....

Postby Krane » Wed 23 Apr 2003 13:48 GMT

Right you are there Chap. Whatever you say, Duncan. An expert on Kazkahstan. (Well, kind of....hmmmm)
I just tell it as it is, and my experience in Almaty far outweighs yours.
Just the facts.
As for what is happening in London or wherever else, that is not the issue; stay focussed Duncan, the issue is life in ALMATY, not London. There are hundreds of worse places, but a thousand better.

As for the scary neo-nationalism prevailing in Kazakhstan, yes, the situation is not as bad as in 1995 when non-Kazakhs had to fear for their safety just going out shopping--but once again, the issue is not how bad it WAS in Almaty, but how bad it IS. That it is not AS bad is not the point; that it is bad, IS.

[This post has been edited by Site Admin. Discussions, and differences of opinion are welcome here but only if done politely. This is a friendly board, feel free to disagree with anything but please treat other forum visitors with respect and friendliness.]
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A competition is it?

Postby duncanwil » Thu 24 Apr 2003 09:06 GMT

I hadn't realised I had entered a competition to see who had had the most experience, deepest insights ...

I related my 1993+ experiences because they are relevant in the context of your 2003 comments. I was in the region for most of last year and can say that I think your comments are one sided. My UK comments were provided to give balance.

There have been problems in Almaty along the lines you say and there will be problems in Almaty along the lines you say. However, I have walked the streets at midnight and at noon and have never had a problem: city centre, suburbs, anywhere.

I don't work in commercial enterprises so have never encountered mafia and other corruptive influences but I know they exist and they are a true barrier to Kazakstan's proper development.

I don't claim to be an expert on anything, by the way. My name is here because I lived in Almaty for 5 years from 1993 - 1998 and then again last year on and off. I give advice and insights where I can. I like Almaty and the people there as I had a good time there both personally and professionally.
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Postby Hajo » Fri 25 Apr 2003 10:53 GMT

I have no doubt that Almaty is a dangerous place for you Krane, the way you present your attitudes. No doubt either, that no other place on earth is the slightest bit better for you. Wherever people are offended by your arrogance, they will give you what you deserve, and rightly so.

I pitty you, Krane, or may i call you Stallion, for having to go to Almaty to prove your manlihood. For what it's worth, I haven't found it too difficult to find girlfriends or lovers in the UK, at home in Germany, in CIS countries or anywhere else. But you don't seem to be to different from the "schmucks" and "nerds" that you mention. Get a life.

Come on, flame me.
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Yawn. Oh, please just learn to Think as you read

Postby Krane » Fri 25 Apr 2003 14:33 GMT

Your response is childish. gee what a waste of time.
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fOR the Porridge guy

Postby Krane » Fri 25 Apr 2003 14:39 GMT

Yes, Dunc, you definitely are just a foreigner with some living experience in Almaty. That's all. My friends (KAZAKHS all) are amused at your ignorance...and presumptions. Too bad, Dunc. you just don't get it.
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I bow to the superior

Postby duncanwil » Fri 25 Apr 2003 15:51 GMT

I bow to the superiority of your intellect, argument and friends.

I assume this matter is now closed as I think everyone has the picture now.
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Postby Kay » Fri 25 Apr 2003 20:57 GMT

Krane, what's your problem? Do you have a positive contribution to make? If so, let's have it.

Otherwise, I suggest that you leave us in peace.

Maybe you have some good points to make - and people will listen if you have - but attacking our correspondents isn't helpful.

Feel free to PM me or to send something for me to publish on the website. I can see that you've got something to say but you cannot and must not be so rude to people on these boards.

Sorry to say, this is your last chance.

Be nice....

Kay
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Almaty

Postby JeffBragg » Sun 21 Nov 2004 13:32 GMT

I too was in Kazakhstan for 7 years, from 1995 to 1998 , and then again from 1999 to 2003 (Hello Duncan!). Hell, I even got married there and my children were born there! Well, I just hope my kids don't grow up to be like Krane, that's all I can say.

Say, Krane - are you American, by any chance, either by birth or green-card? There's just something about your manner that gives me a slight hint, you see... Yes, unfortunately there are quite a few such undesirable people there, both expat and local, but you don't HAVE to meet them!

I worked for one of the local newspapers for a good while, and soon came to learn about the country's less appealing side - corruption, gangsterism, desperation; the same as in any post-soviet state. However, if you're planning on making a trip there, for a holiday or work, I would definitely encourage you to go. It offers a whole range of unique experiences, and you might even end up with an extended Kazakh family!
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Hi Jeff

Postby duncanwil » Sun 21 Nov 2004 14:02 GMT

Welcome back!

Good to hear from you Jeff: first time since 1998 I would think.

When did you go to Abu Dhabi? I was in Dubai in September to present a one week seminar and enjoyed it. Excellent city, excellent delegates and was able to work from 6 am until midnight every day!

Helen will be interested to know that you've surfaced again and I hope your family's doing well.

For everyone else's benefit: Jeff and I worked at the same place in Almaty for three years so we know each other!

Best wishes

Duncan
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KZ today ?

Postby travelling scot » Wed 24 Nov 2004 15:27 GMT

Hello,
I am curious about conditions for living and working in KZ right now,as i have vague thoughts of going there in about a years time.I would be teaching English,and i wonder what lifestyle is possible on the local salary for a native speaker ? I had expected it to be similar to Bulgaria as both are "poorer" ex-soviet countries in a way,but i saw a website listing rents which looked out of this world.
Any genuine information would be helpful,thanks.
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Right and wrong to that

Postby duncanwil » Wed 24 Nov 2004 16:39 GMT

Dear Jock,

You are right about the rents: they are frighteningly true. I'm sorry but our American friends caused that problem from 1991 onwards when they arrived in Almaty and threw their Dollars at landlords who couldn't believe their good fortune. Rents at that time were already at the $1,000 a month level for a two to three bedroom flat in the centre of Almaty.

Europeans and others tried to rent at more reasonable rates but were either squeezed out or had to move into the suburbs: me for example!

Now there is a mortgage regime for highly paid people and that has forced property prices and rents higher too.

However, be prepared to move to the suburbs or a bit out of town and you'll find that rents plummet. Seriously, they are massively lower. Transport then becomes an issue. Still, I have happily used trams and buses to get around and they are so cheap as to be virtually free as well as reliable and on time. Alternatively, use the every car is a taxi system to get around and you'll find yourself living in the suburbs quite happily from that point of view too.

Hope that's useful and it is up to date!!

Duncan
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