a place in the world

Posts tagged Kazakhstan

Food / Kazakhstan

Countries Without McDonald’s

Countries without McDonald's

McDonald’s is my personal benchmark of a ‘familiar’ place, as opposed to a strange one; it’s hard to imagine a place in the world where something as globalized as McDonald’s still has not penetrated the local economy. It has become a default eating place especially when we are too tired to look for better (cheaper) options. I’ve eaten at McDonald’s Barcelona, Singapore, Hong Kong, Paris, (gasp) Versailles, Bratislava…

I once found myself in Kazakhstan– ninth largest country in the world, yet there was not a McDonald’s outlet in sight. There was, however, a McD’s ripoff called McBurger in downtown Almaty– serving pizzas, burgers (they taste like Burger Machine burgers!), kebabs.
Mc Burger

I also discovered that there is a KFC outlet in a mall far from where I lived– and strangely, it was rebranded as Rostik’s (Ростик’с). I realize that this is what they call the KFC stores in some Russian-speaking states (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, etc). Suffice to say, after being deprived of good ol’ fast food for weeks, I was so happy to have found it in a remote strip mall.

Rostik's in Kazakhstan


Stumbled upon

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random, conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery– celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from– it’s where you take them to.”
– Jim Jarmusch


Da, Da, Da

From Central Europe, I find myself in Central Asia. Post-communist, cold, and unfamiliar– there are no English signs and hardly any English speakers at all. Yet, I welcome this brief change and new experience.
Lonely Planet describes it as one of the world’s last few unknowns. When one mentions this nation, Borat immediately comes to mind. It’s quite an insult, people here don’t look and act like Borat at all.
It’s getting late so my note ends here, dosvidania for now.