Things that happen in Kazakhstan

This blog was originally posted as a draft about a week ago. I started the blog right when I got to Almaty, Kazakhstan for U23 World Championships and figured that I would be done with it before the first race went off, which is why I went ahead and scheduled it to post automatically.

Then I wasn’t done with it. And it posted automatically. Sorry to those of you who read my half-formed thoughts. The accident and its subsequent embarassment leads me to the first thing that happens in Kazakhstan:

#1: Complete and utter misunderstanding of time.

Going to Asia is like going through a worm hole when you do it for the first time. Your today becomes tomorrow, your then your friends’ now and procrastination feels only half as satisfying because no matter what, you’re a whole day ahead of the East Coast.

#2: A #selfienation

Anywhere you go, a car crash, ski race, store checkout or bathroom, there will be selfies taken.



#3: Soldiers/Guards. Everywhere. Making you feel safe, but also making you wonder what you’re being protected from.


zoom in and see if you can count the guards lining the trail
zoom in and see if you can count the guards lining the trail

#4: Skiing! Allegedly…


#5: America. Epitomized by a bus-full of athletes chanting USA! on the final night.

IMG_8226#6: This sweet hotel:

IMG_8149Right next to #7: this scary abandoned lot

IMG_2506_2 #8: A little bit of smog


That made for #9: Dramatic views


IMG_8554#10: a few things I didn’t get photos for, including but not limited to dogs that know how to read street crossing lights, incredibly friendly locals, pistachio lattes (no photos because I drank them too fast) and, last but certainly not least, horse meat.

Onward and upward,




One thought on “Things that happen in Kazakhstan

  1. Annie, I love your enthusiastic blogs that show a love of description and words. You are an inspiration every time you post something new. I work with your Mom at Hospice and I was telling her how I enjoyed your article from The Riveter Magazine. Well written, especially the part about “all in without hope” and just pursuing your passion. She said to share with you what I was telling her about something I’d written. Feeling doubtful, I said something about, “She might wonder who the hell is sending me this??” but Val said you’d find it humorous. I know nothing of being an athlete or of the thrill competition, so your blog posts give me a glimpse of a different world and perspective. I also love to write and I want to share an excerpt from a novel I’m in the midst of writing. I wrote this prior to the Superbowl…..which, by the way, I won’t watch because I reject patriarchal rituals. I have an entirely different perspective and I hope you’ll find it amusing. Most things I write about are regarding the profound beauty and sorrow of death and dying. Since I’ve spent the majority of my career taking care of dying people, much of my words are reflections of those I’ve met, things they’ve said, and conversations I’ve contemplated for years. Fact is far more interesting than fiction, don’t you think? This excerpt, however, is straight from my girlhood experience. Although, I was very active, I hated group sports. I spent hours riding my bike, hiking along horse trails, and doing “night walks” much to the dismay of my mother, yet I was the girl who was picked last for sports, who cringed at PE class, who fainted when she had no choice but to take part in a wretched baseball game because if she feigned illness one more time, she’d get an “F” on her “permanent record” and a call to her mother. Keep on writing. I’ll read it all. Let me know what you think. Pursing my own passions and proud to throw, kick, and run like a girl, Christina Kush

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