KZ: The Day

I woke up early in the morning for breakfast and get ready for my official interview. Originally, I promised David to meet him at 8am and go to the office together. Unlike me, David already joined the company and his first day is today. Apparently, he has to go to Office 1 and mine is Office 2. Slava, the company’s driver, picked me at 9am and from the hotel, it took me around 30 minutes to get to the Office 2. The traffic was bad. I thought the driving skills in Qatar was worse, but this is terrible. The way they structured the traffic light junction coupled with the bad driving skills make the driving condition in Almaty bad. I would not dare to drive at this point of time. Based on the experience by people I met here, driving can be harmful to you.

When you park your car, make sure there is ample space between the cars. Else, you will find our car dented. Also, the driver here do not use back mirror. Same as drivers in Qatar who seldom use the signals. Over here, when they want to reverse their vehicles, they just reverse them. Should you happen to be behind them, too bad. Expect collision.

In the morning, I met three top management from the company. One partner and two directors. So far so good. I have met one of the directors on Saturday at the party. Had lunch at Guinness Bar – a buffet spread of the local dishes. By the way, if you see names that are the same with international brand like in this case, Guinness, it does not mean the establishment is the international chain brand. It is merely a name. I was a bit concern of what to eat there since the food labels are in Russian/Kazakh and I didn’t know what pork means in the language. Bear in mind over here, very very few practice the religion. Muslims seldom pray or never pray. According to my friends in the company, majority Muslims that they know do not fast in Ramadan and they do drink alcohol and eat pork. Hari Raya is not known here. So forget about getting public holiday on that day.

In the afternoon, I am supposed to meet with two senior managers, and both of them are local Kazakh. However, one of them could not make it due to client commitment. Met with HR Manager who explained that once the company offers you a job, you have to wait for three to five months to get your work permit ready. This means that you can only be officially hired into the company once your work permit ready. Business visa will no longer work for this case. The HR passed me the check list of the work permit processing.From the look of it, it is not much difference from Qatar except there are no medical check-up and letter of the good conduct from the police. Additional documents needed include reference letter from previous employers proving your work experience at least for the last five years.

The country is making difficult for expatriate to come. It is a good move to ensure qualified locals are given proper chance.

Attempted to connect to internet from the company, but failed although there is a successful connection made. Diagnostic shows there was connection, but I wonder why I could not get into internet.

At night, had a team dinner at the Uzbekistan restaurant. First time ever in my life I tried horse meat. Yup.. you read it right… horse meat. I tried the cold horse meat, thus a bit tasteless.

This Uzbekistan restaurant, I think it is known as “Alasa” has a very distinctive Uzbek deco. There were also few birds chirping once in a while. The food was good and the best part was the entertainment. Ranging from traditional Uzbek folk fore and finish it up with belly dancing. Before the end of the show, these belly dancers will move from one table to another. As a patron at the restaurant, you are expected to slip some monies to their waist. Luckily they don’t strip like that club :-p

That’s wrap up my day….

~ MT @ Kazakhstan
~~ Astana International Hotel, Almaty

~ To Travel Is To Discover Oneself ~


zal said...

mcm best je negara ni... hehehe... lain drpd yg lain... so would u say if u lompat from Doha to Almaty/Astana... u will be goin from bad to worse? hehehe... it sounds like it, right...

MT said...

For me, best to visit since lots of untouch nature beauties. To stay, hmmm.... not so sure, but definitely not my type of country.