When I started my first-year master’s program at Kimep in Almaty, nearly everyone I met there would tell me one thing: how “superb” Almaty is compared to Astana or Nur-Sultan, how it is called now after the first president of Kazakhstan.
Different opinions about Astana
A lot of opinions about the capitol were that people in Astana wouldn’t enjoy life at all. They are rude and not delightful. Who am I to challenge these statements? Yet I decided to go to see myself. And I fell in love with Astana. Having a broad view, even you are in the middle of the city center. All this distinct architecture, not covered by any trees or fat stone blocks from the last decades.
A lot of space to relax embedded in a modern touch. Beautiful parks, outdoor leisure activities, and other engaging activities are one side to experience the city. What it feels like here in the capital is the contemporary Europa in Central Asia style. After living some months in the new capital, I don’t like to compare Almaty and Astana. They are entirely two different worlds. Astana feels like modern Kazakhstan. Just to tease even further my friends from Almaty, I feel like Astana is more progressive. In a sophisticated way. The fact that the city’s name changed two times in a short time for a community.
A Kazakh winter fairytale
People might be colder in their communication up there, but one has to be a fighter below freezing point when one lives in such a harsh winter. The inside of the citizen’s heart is still greeting warmly. I had no other encounter with locals here than in Almaty. Winter there is like the season should be. White and magical. Walking on layers of ice, covered by the blinking flakes of snow.
Swaying everywhere you walk. It feels like being a fairy. I am coming from a small town of 10,000 souls in the west middle part of Germany. Snow is a rare pleasure in our full green valley next to the river Rhine. My hometown is surrounded by thousands of vineyards. So experiencing a whole snow Winter in Astana was a mind changer. Summertime is my passion, and I always favored a sultry heat over a cold brize. Almaty might be fun and exciting, but Astana converted me. Change my mind.