expat.nursat.kz / Kazakhstan Scrapbook / You know you've been in Kazakhstan too long when:

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You know you've been in Kazakhstan too long when:

1. You don't think things are that bad right now.
2. You have to think twice about throwing away an empty instant coffee jar.
3. You carry a plastic shopping bag with you "just in case."
4. You say he/she is "on the meeting" (instead of "at the" or "in a" meeting).
5. You answer the phone by saying "allo, allo, allo" before giving the caller a chance to respond.
6. You save table scraps for the cats living in the courtyard.
7. When crossing the street, you sprint.
8. In winter, you choose your route by determining which icicles are least likely to fall and impale you.
9. You are impressed with new model of Lada or Volga car.
10. You let the telephone ring at least four times before you pick it up because it's probably a misconnection or an electrical fault.
11. You hear on the radio that it's zero degrees outside and you think it's a nice day for a change.
12. You argue with a taxi driver about a fare of 150 tenge ($1) to go two kilometers in a blizzard.
13. You actually know and CARE where Spartak (Russian soccer team) won last night.
14. You look at people's shoes to determine where they're from.
15. You automatically hand in your mace at the door before going through a metal detector.
16. You're pleasantly surprised when there is real wine in the bottle of Georgian Kinzamaruli you bought in a kiosk.
17. You notice that Flathead's cell phone is smaller than yours and you're jealous.
18. You're thrown off guard when the doorman at the nightclub is happy to see you.
19. You're not sure what to do when the "GAI" (traffic cop) only asks you to pay the official fine.
20. You wonder what the tax inspector really wants when she says everything is in order.
21. You give a 10% tip only if the waiter has been really exceptional.
22. You plan your vacation around those times of the year when the hot water is turned off.
23. You're envious because your expatriate friend has smaller door keys than you have.
24. You ask for no ice in your drink.
25. You start using "da" instead of "yes."
26. You go mushroom and berry picking out of necessity instead of recreation.
27. You develop a liking of beets.
28. You begin to socialize with your driver and/or your cleaning lady.
29. You know what Dostoyevsky's color was.
30. You start to believe that you're a character in a Tolstoy novel.
31. You know seven people whose novel is "The Master and Margarita."
32. You change into tapki (slippers) and wash your hands as soon as you walk into your apartment.
33. You take a trip to Budapest and think you've been to heaven.
34. You start thinking of black bread as a good chaser for vodka.
35. You drink the brine from empty pickle jars.
36. You can read barcodes, and you start shopping for products by their country of production.
37. You begin to refer to locals as "nashi" (ours).
38. It doesn't seem strange to pay the GAI $2.25 for crossing the double line while making an illegal U-turn , and $ 35 for a microwaved dish of frozen vegetables at a crappy restaurant.
39. You know more than 60 Gulyas.
40. You give your business card to social acquaintances.
41. You wear a wool hat in the sauna.
42. You're pleasantly surprised when there's toilet paper in the WC at work.
43. You put the empty bottle of wine on the floor in a restaurant.
44. "Remont", "pivo" and "nalivai" become integral parts of your vocabulary.
45. You're curious as to when they might start exporting Karagandy beer to your home country.
46. Cigarette smoke becomes "tolerable."
47. You think metal doors are a necessity.
48. You've moved to six apartments in six months.
49. You no longer feel like going to your "home" country.
50. You speak to other expats in your native language, but forget a few of the simplest words and throw in some Russian ones.
51. You know how many kilos you weigh.
52. You start driving in the lane with on-coming traffic to pass another car.
53. You pull alongside other cars at a stop and make your own lane.

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