A Visit to the Market

September 13, 2008 at 3:21 am Leave a comment

I wrote this the other day when we had no Internet access but wanted to post it.

September 11th, Day 8 in Kostanai:

It is now about 9:45 p.m. Kostanai time and 11:45 a.m. U.S. time. We were able to get the translation of the medical report today and, after reading it, we had more questions. The Delphin Baby house’s doctor was wonderful and patient in trying to explain the entire report, but because she speaks Russian and our translator wasn’t completely familiar with all of the medical terminology we were left wanting clarity on the report. As a result, we are looking forward to some feedback from our U.S. doctor.

Doug, Natascha, and I returned to our apartment after our daily visitation and while I began to type in the medical report so it could be emailed (we had only a photocopy of the English translation), Natascha ran to our now favorite restaurant for three Turkish roll-ups (will get the actual name later) for a quick lunch. Our Internet connection had returned after a citywide outage and we were anxious to finally get some input on the medical report.

Realizing that it was only 5 a.m. in the U.S., I decided to put off my typing and email so that we could quickly eat our lunch and head to the Kostanai market. Doug and I happened upon this market two days ago and were excited to share our discovery with Natasha.

This market is amazing and completely claustrophobic. Doug describes it as a “six-foot Steinway Street in Queens twisted into a never ending maze of chaos”. For we Mainers who have no conception of Steinway Street, picture the alley of booths at the Fryeburg Fair moved in closer so that the passage way is only about three adult shoulder widths wide and “twisting into a never ending maze of chaos”. You quickly learn to not make eye contact with any vendors else you’ll find yourself in a bargaining match that neither of you will understand.  Do you need a coat? Bra? Shampoo? 100-kilo sack of rice? A HUGE unimaginable hard sausage? Leg of lamb? It is all here!

You aren’t supposed to take pictures here so forgive the lack of images.

Most of the “shops” are set up in 6×8 steel stalls that resemble (or are) shipping storage containers. There are many vendors on the sides of the street and in these stalls selling produce, however, there are two main buildings that house most of the food items. One is filled mostly with meat. You name it and you can find it. The meats are cut in a back room and proudly displayed in and on top of glass windowed cases. This meat is not covered in any way or form. Think of the traditional butcher shop and multiplied by 20 and this is what this building is like. The smell of so much raw meat is just a little too overpowering for me so I can’t spend too much time in this particular building.

The second building is a little tamer, offering more fruits and vegetables along with cheeses and dried fish. This one has a second floor with a toy store and a couple second hand shops.

Both buildings offer a fine selection of cakes and baked breads, as well. Doug and I purchased a cake for Natascha’s birthday on our first trip. The woman behind the counter was so incredible sweet and helpful. In order to try and explain what the cakes were made of, she would point to a cake and then come out from behind the counter and find various items in the market that were in the cakes. I believe if we buy another cake while we are here, it will be from her. Delicious and beautifully decorated, it was a great buy and a great adventure. (O.K. Natascha, you can put that knife down now!)

When we returned from the market, I finished typing up the medical report and quickly sent it out. It was still early in the U.S. so I didn’t expect a reply for a while. Around 6:30 p.m., our coordinator called and stopped by for a few minutes. After she called we tried to get back on the Internet and had no success. We kept getting a voice message (in Russian and Kazakh) on our Internet dial-up, as well as the phone. Checking our phone line, we found that it was split and then clumsily repaired with tape. Thinking this was our problem; we walked to the local shopping center and bought another.

After changing out the cord and giving the Internet and phone another try, we still received the same message. Using our cell phone (thanks again to Steve and KJ) we called our coordinator, played the message we were getting, and then listened to her laugh in reply. Our phone service had been shut off. Because the hour was so late, she promised to call the landlord in the morning so that we could get this taken care of.

This trip is good training for me as I’m typically an impatient person. Patience, patience, patience is the key to survival! (-:


Entry filed under: Kazakhstan Adoption. Tags: .

Sorry- No Internet Water AND the Internet

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