Friday, June 5, 2015

Astana and Khan Shatir Shopping Mall

I went to Khan Shatir, the famous shopping place of Astana, Capital City of Kazakhstan today morning at 10 AM. I have clicked some photos from the area which I am sharing now with you. First of all, let me narrate the background.

I met one Indian friend via yesterday and agreed to meet today somewhere in Astana. He was Indian, and So, I was. He is staying now in South India where I was few years ago. He said that he has come here for the very first time and in his words, "dying to meet some Indians". We straightway exchanged our Indian numbers and started sending messages via Whatsapp. Since he was here for the very first time, he said that he wants to talk with someone on many questions that were on his mind. I agreed to meet as I was also looking for someone from South Asia. We generated a vibe in Whatsapp that we are going to have a great talk. So, we agreed that we should meet somewhere which is equi-distance from his place and from my place.

We agreed the time that we would meet at sharp at 10 am in main gate of Khan Shatir, the famous supermarket of Astana. Since we both did not have active internet and working mobile phone outside WiFi zone, we agreed the dress code and reminded ourselves not to be like in India, i.e. to be sharp on time.

I stay near Radisson Hotel in Astana in Kenesary Street and I have to take a bus. I had already searched little bit in Internet to find out which one to take. I went to the bus stop this morning located just in front of (on the other side of road) Hotel Park INN. I looked at the transport map placed there and took a help of a girl waiting for her own bus. In our broken English-Russian, she helped me to figure out that Bus Numbers 12, 43 and 46 will go from that place to Khan Shatir. I took bus No. 46. Everything was easy and smooth except that the bus was very very crowded at that time of 9.30 AM. I reached 10 minutes earlier than my Indian friend and once we saw each other, we instantly recognised. We were quite different from the masses and it was very easy to recognise.

We just strolled inside Khan Shatir for some time to find a good cafe/Coffee Shop. As it was only opening at that time, few coffee places declined to serve but we found a good one soon. We sat and ordered hot milk latte and started talking on different things.

The issue of culture, family, cultural adaptations, cultural shock, family expectations, Kazakhstan Job Market, Potential, Possibilities, religion etc. were some of the topics. We both shared our views openly, candidly, frankly and laughed together on many issues. We parted at lunch time as we both had lunch time engagements at different places.

Before leaving, we paid the bill. Two Coffees costed 1980 KZT (Kazakh Tenge, i.e. 5 USD for each cup and certainly little expensive for both of us).

I took again bus number 46 and returned back to Kenesary Street. I have posted below few Photos taken around Khan Shatir. (The photos are taken by iPhone 4 and on the bright sunny day, the quality is naturally enhanced.)

 (The above Photo should be some Ministry and the surrounding areas!. I have not much idea on the buildings.)
 (Above Photo is of Astana Opera. It looks magnificent from close. Will be taking some more pictures on another visit to this place.)
 (The photo above and many photos below will of iconic Shopping Mall - Khan Shatir! the jewel of Astana, capital of Republic of Kazakhstan)

 (Photo taken from the entrance of Khan Shatir)

(In the far distance, you can see another iconic - "Baiterek Tower". There is I LOVE ASTANA written on the other side of the road but not clearly captured in this photo.)

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