work

A new job, or life is full of adventures


So, in the beginning of this month I left my job; the story is long and quite unpleasant, so let’s not slow down here. What matters more is that I got another one the day before my last working day.
I’m an English teacher in a language center now. There are 2 offices; I teach the language to a bunch of people in one, and I am the native speaker who teaches the speaking club in another. The office where I’m just a teacher is in the same building where I live, so it’s pretty cool to be able to go home for a nap when I have a 1 hour gap between classes.  I am the nice and fun teacher who can and will f**k students up if they don’t do their homeworks and try relying on me being nice. I’m like prof. Cohen (AUBG students would understand) of the iLike center: I’m fun, I tell jokes,  I look like I understand the students and the stuff they tell me, but I’m ruthless I  terms of grading; students should learn, and being friendly and nice doesnt’t mean that they can use it.
Besides the groups at the center I give corporate individual classes for the CEO of Samruk Kazyna Invest (and feeling rly smug about it). He’s my favorite student; I wish all students could be as polite and considerate.
Aaaaand, the most interesting thing: the speaking club. Students at the other office have no idea that I know Russian: for all attendees I’m a native speaker teacher. And I pulled it off! It was really funny to watch and hear them talking to each other about me and thinking I didn’t understand. I found that extremely amusing and want to do it again next week.
Life brings us surprises when we forget that things like that exist. We just need to remember that not only bad things happen in this world.
Stay happy. Stay tuned.

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Welcome to Silent Hill


Fascination is what I felt after looking in the window after getting up today: all city is covered with fog and it looks freaking magical.

Cabs stuck in traffic jams, people taking a leap of faith when running across the road having green light in front of them, cab company operators hating their job beause of rising amounts of dissatisfied clients (I was one of them this time) – these are some of the most memorable moments of today’s morning.

The temperature isn’t too low, I almost dropped my redbull because of the freezing hand only once, and it’s a good sign πŸ™‚

Having the office on the 17th floor, we’re sitting here like it’s Silent Hill; all foggy and weird people hanging around. The look from the window is great: you can’t see almost anything. Baiterek is approximately 200-300 meters away from us and we can’t see it from here. The only images visible at the moment are feeble silhouettes of colorful buildings which now look as grey as everything else.Β All that gives a feeling of peace. The fog is so dense that I feel like I can touch it if I get my hand outside.

The time flies by. Only one week left of October, which means that soon it’ll be 2 months since I started working at ‘company_name’. And yeah, my birthday is only 2 weeks away. In 2 weeks I can bake myself a nice chocolate cake, get a bottle of wine, buy an aroma candle, light it up, and sing myself a ‘Happy birthday’ song. I don’t know if it’s so bad, but now that I think about this way of ‘celebrating’ my birthday, it doesn’t look too bad. Am I THAT antisocial? I gotta admit, chocolate, wine and an aroma candle can be great companions sometimes. Let’s see if I’ll be spending that day with them or find something more socially acceptable to do. The time will show.

Now I just need to make sure I stay alive and don’t get slaughtered in this all-absorbing silent hill atmosphere…

Rainy view from the 17th floor


Grey morning…

It was raining so hard I could feel the raindrops hitting my hiking sneakers. Messy hair, a hood to protect the headphones and music to make the walk to work better than it is – typical morning for me.

It’s going to snow soon, I think. I can’t wait for it, and at the same time I don’t want winter to start because I’m not used to the hardcore freezer temperatures. I’m not ready for -30 C after mild winters in Europe :((((

This week we have 6 days to work instead of 5, and then 3 days off in a row because of the big muslim holiday. Honestly, I have no idea what I’ll be doing during these 3 days. Boredom is just going to eat me and I’ll happily (well, relatively happily) drag myself to work on wednesday.

The general plan is to sleep as much as I freaking can and do my best not to strangle the little drama queen that I share the room with, because if I do, I’ll have to kill her mom too and disappear from the country.

Yeah, not the best thoughts in th first half of the working day.

Group translations, foggy view from the window, and heater working on full power in the office – and first half of the working day is almost over. More brain consuming stuff to come. More excitement about the upcoming 3-day weekend. More hours of life lived.

Stay tuned. Peace.

The city of empty costumes, or stuff that makes me wanna translate till I drop


Interesting things are happening around me. I’m extremely lucky to find racist people, weird landlords, and taxi drivers with a good sense of humor πŸ™‚

First, when I started looking for a new place to stay, I got hundreds of phone numbers to call. 6 out of 10 dropped the call as soon as they found out that I wasn’t Kazakh. The rest told me that they need someone urgently (and I couldn’t more in right away due to financial issues and needed to wait until the begining of August), and couldn’t wait. Awesome.

Over the past 2 weeks I had to go to the right bank a lot (last week – workhop) and I ended up coming back late, so I took a cab on my way back almost every time that happened. Almost all the drivers were fun people who started either talking about Astana, or just making witty remarks on everyday mundane life. The jokes were old, but somehow it felt good hearing them, for a moment there they made me feel like I didn’t live in such a rotten place.

And yeah, I finally got my working contract with out project director’s signature on it. I was actually surprised to see a year-long contract, because the administration told me they’d hire me for 3 test months and we’d have only a 3-month long contract first. And there I sat and read that the contract expiration date is in a year; and it made me feel like I can translate 24/7, 365 days a week. Good way of motivating your worker to work till late; good job, ‘company_name’, good job.

About the right bank… Last night I went to visit a friend of mine because she felt lonely in the big apartment where she temporarily lived. The apartment was kind of cozy, with a small kitchen and a ‘good old Soviet view from the window’. Haven’t had a nice girly talk in a homely atmosphere for a long time.

The most interesting part was getting to work next morning. Catching a taxi was one thing; the traffic jams were something that I will never forget, because that’s when I realized that I won’t ever look for a place to live on the right bank. Well, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m lucky to meet fun taxi drivers, sdo the one from today morning wasn’t an exception. 2 girls discussing cars and automobile taxes in Kazakhstan with a middle-aged man, who complained about his wife’s shopping addiction in breaks between the traffic lights πŸ˜€

As I look at all that it makes me wonder why the ff*** I’m doing in this city, because I could have had a much calmer life back home. But then, I get to work, and I stop thinking about it because this work takes almost all of my freaking time!!!

Hah, well, let the Gods bless my job and my survival in the city or empty costumes; everything else I can do on my own.

Routine days and the week of weight loss


So…

It’s my 4th week living in Astana and I still don’t know how to feel about it.

The job itself is amazing, but the amounts of it are killing me sometimes.

I’ve lost a little more weight over the past week, because we had a week long workshop on health economics. So much new terminology and so many new people… 8 hours of verbal translation a day + written translations – overwhelming! I don’t think I’d have gotten such a valuable experience anywhere else. At least now I have a general understanding of what people from MoH and CS are, and how they work. At the end of the workshop the consultant who I translated for, told me that after all that I need a certificate too, because I ended up expleining methods of economic evaluation and budget impat analysis to the CS people πŸ˜€

So, if anyone ever wants to lose weight – become a full-time translator/interpreter! That surely helps you stop eating (just because you don’t have time for it) and the kilograms don’t just go away, they drain from you along with the nerves and good mood…

Oh, what am I talking about? Really, I complain too much. The job is really exciting, and even though I’m going to leave all of my nervous system over here, I still like it.

The weather in Astana is even weirder than in Karaganda; here it changes within minutes! And the wind… The wind is kinda nice, because if it weren’t here, I’d choke in all the car fumes (the number of cars in this city is unimaginable).

Another great thing about this city is that I’ve met new people, and they seem very nice. An interesting fact: out of the people I hang out with, there isn’t a single local person πŸ˜€ Well, as we know, there aren’t almost any ‘locals’ in Astana anyway…

Work-home, work-home, work-home – that’s my plan for almost every day. And even though I might complain about it, there’s nothing better to do here anyway, and it’s not even so bad πŸ˜€

I need to look at things more positively. I really do. I’ve got to punch myself in the face and start at least smiling to people, because most of the time I look like I’ll be planting a bomb somewhere, and my face looks scared and angry (or, in some cases I look like I’ve just defused one :D).

I need more positive shit in here! Just a little more.

Fighting the nature


My head feels like it’s being held by someone’s huge hands, and these hands are pressing on it so hard that I”m about to faint.

My brain is a car prepared for disposal, and the atmosphere pressure is the jaws pressing on it stronger and stronger with every minute.

A working day ahead, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to survive it all.

I really hope I feel better at least by lunch break, because I’m afraid I”ll either turn inside out, or faint (and then turn inside out).

Being sensitive to atmosphere pressure changes is one of the biggest problems I’ve had.

Whyyyy aren’t there ways to be less sensitive to that?

I don’t know how much coffee I”ll need to drink Β before it all stabilizes. Well, challenge accepted. Let’s start the struggle.

Here I come, biatch.

Last working day.


My last working day at “Company_Name”! Only several hours left until the working contract gets interrupted.

It feels kind of weird, because I got so much used to everyone here and I’m even gonna miss some people.

The worst thing is that I won’t be able to closely monitor the Giggle Cloud dispersal and influence, and my telepathic abilities won’t be able to improve. But oh well, I can take notes from time to time anyway and train my brain myself.

Our CEO took us to a restaurant today, everyone was saying goodbye and wishing me all the best. That was sweet, but I’d never expect the boss to do that just because I’m leaving the company.

Right now I’ll be going to a supermarket and buy a small simple cake to have a tea-party πŸ˜›

End of the working day promises to be sad but relieving.

Let’s see how it goes and smile ahead πŸ™‚