, OksanaLove
September 2 th 2002 Almaty, Kazakhstan - now where the heck is that? Well, it is located on the Kazak steppes to the northeast of that current hot spot, Afghanistan. And how did I come to take an interest in Almaty, Kazakhstan? Well, like most of you visiting this site, I have been using the Internet to find my "ideal" partner. Like most of you, for one reason or another, the western women have lost their appeal and my attention was drawn to the ladies of the former USSR who still have those lovely family values. For months I surfed around avoiding the scams until one day I visited a site devoted to anti-scamming that was seeking further information on some agencies - www.scamalert.freeservers.com/reputableagencies.html Here I found the agency Oksanalove and there I found a lady who caught my attention. We wrote for many months until finally I planned a trip to KZ in May. Unfortunately, work commitments forced a postponement of the trip until the end of July. Now, to give you a little background on the agency and the staff. Oksana is the boss, and spends time in both KZ and the USA. In Almaty, the office staff are Julia, Nazym and Olesia. They all speak good English (although Olesia likes to conceal that fact!) and had been most helpful in both communicating with my lady and preparing me for my trip. Finally, on 29 July, I launched myself towards KZ. For those of you in America, it's a fair haul at the best of times. From here in New Zealand, add another 12 hours getting to LA and it's a good old slog - 35 hours flying in all. I arrived safely in Almaty a few days later where Julia and Nazym met me at the airport and took me to the apartment that had been rented for me. Now, a word of caution for those of you used to the western way of life and the American luxuries. come with an open mind. KZ is a former Soviet state, and things are a little different. Not bad, just a little different. The apartment was very comfortable in a central location with all mod cons (including a Russian washing machine that I finally learned to master!) and the area abounded with fine English and American style pubs of a very good standard. After all the travelling from NZ to KZ, I was somewhat "wrecked" on arrival and chose to spend my first night in Almaty catching up on lost sleep and resetting my body clock. On the second night Nazym introduced me to the lady I had been communicating with. Funny old thing, we just did not hit it off! Disaster you say? Nope, a blessing in disguise! Oksana had been on at me to write to many ladies before I visited. But being an old fashioned monogamous kind of guy I had declined the offer and written to just the one lady. But about a month before I visited KZ, another lady's profile appeared on the web site that appealed to me although I hadn't written to her for the reason above. On the Friday night, Nazym arranged for me to meet her. and Yana and I sparked straight off. We spent several hours just talking and enjoying each other's company. Saturday night was better with a fine dinner at a great restaurant followed by a long walk through Almaty in very pleasant company and with good conversation. We met again on Sunday, again just getting to know each other, and on Monday we had planned a tour into the mountains. But on Monday, Yana was ill and in hospital. No matter, we weren't going to let this stop us. Every evening I made my way down to the agency's office, Olesia would launch me off in a taxi towards the hospital where Yana and I would spend several pleasant hours in the evening twilight just enjoying each others company, and then she would launch me back towards the apartment in another taxi. All in all, I spent 10 days in Almaty. They were a most enjoyable 10 days, and as I write this now I know I have met my soulmate in Yana. I was sad to leave, and I left my heart behind. But we talk most days by telephone (the phone bill will probably bankrupt me!), and I plan to go back there soon to develop our relationship further. So, for those of you reading this The agency? Yes, it is real and everything it says it is. Their clients are real, every bit as attractive as they seem, and definitely worth a visit if you have been corresponding with them. When you meet them, you will be pleasantly surprised, and you will find the staff very helpful in getting you settled in and finding your way around. Expectations? Go with an open mind. KZ is a former Soviet state in Central Asia and things are a little different - delightfully different! And don't expect to come home with a Russian wife after just a short visit. The Russian ladies are all very intelligent and most will not just grab the first man they can to escape KZ. Use the time to develop the relationship that you have established and take it from there. One lady or more? Well, I have my own values. But it is a long way to go if it doesn't work out with the one lady you have been communicating with. Be guided by Oksana and the girls in the office - they know best. Currency? US dollars work well, latest style bills and unmarked. Exchange bureaus abound and are user-friendly and honest. American Express traveller's cheques are accepted at the major banks without too much trouble. The local currency is the tenge (tengay) at about 155 KZT to a USD. Communication? English speakers are not common. Those that speak it speak it very well. Those that don't, don't. When shopping, I found the old "point at it" method worked well, with the appropriate number of fingers up to indicate the desired quantity. And have the courtesy to learn just a few words of Russian such as hello, please and thank you. Cost of living? KZ is not a rich country and you can survive well on the cheap. A good meal in Dicken's (English pub) and a few beers will set you back $10-15 and a large bottle of mineral water will cost you less than 2 bucks, as will a packet of smokes or a bottle of beer. Transport? Walk! It'll do you good and give you a chance to experience the culture. Taxis are cheap, but you'll need to speak Russian or have a local give the driver instructions for you. And the buses are regular and cheap. Food and water? Take the same precautions as you would in either Mexico or the Pacific Islands. Bottled water, fresh fruit you have peeled yourself, and dine in the reputable cafes, pubs and restaurants. Personal safety? I felt safer in Almaty than I ever do in LA. Normal rules for a big city, stay on the beaten track, keep your nose clean, and don't draw attention to yourself. To visit or not to visit? Just do it! A large number of men who write to the ladies there never meet them. That lady you don't meet may just be your perfect "other half". And, besides, it is not a bad place to enjoy a vacation that is somewhere just a little bit different. E-mail: romasake@xtra.co.nz
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