When I flew into Almaty in January, I spent 2 days there attending a conference before I flew onto Karaganda. I didn’t get to see much of Almaty due to the conference. However, there was one place my supervisor didn’t want me to see. I didn’t know why so I didn’t think too much about it.
Well, last week, I had the ocassion to travel to Almaty. I was scheduled to teach at the Bible Institute. Some other Americans I had met in January wanted to take me shopping so they took me to the store called “Ramstore”. It is based in Turkey I believe.
Anyway, I was in shock as I entered the store. It was like walking into Wally World (WalMart) in America.
The first thing I noticed was the amount of English language magazines and books. I bought a Newsweek magazine for about $6.
Then I headed to the grocery department. I couldn’t believe my eyes! Saltine crackers, maple syrup, cake mixes, frostings, tortilla chips, canned soups. I’ms sure my eveys looked like a kid’s eyes in a candy store.
My favorite find was SALSA!!!! I didn’t even care how much it cost. (Not exactly true…) I had gotten used to a salsa type in Ukraine, but it is not available in Karaganda. I had tried some other stuff that was supposed to be the same, but it wasn’t.
It’s probably a good thing I don’t live in Almaty…my checkbook and bank account probably couldn’t survive!