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Update: Sat 20:15

KN is doing the spares and DHL honours as my sister dodges in and out of protests in Egypt. Very inconvenient having a revolution (or at least another protest) as you walk out of the museum in Cairo!

Of course, the parts aren't available just like that though I think he's managed to discover some central warehouse that will deliver. They would have delivered direct but they only use UPS and UPS don't operate in Almaty (not obviously anyway).

The small bit of rubber oil seal is GBP10 and I've ordered a dust seal (GBP35) just in case any mechanic is a bit clumsy. The circlip take 6 days to back order so I'll have to hope mine don't get snapped being extracted. So, two oils seals (8cm diameter, not sure how thick, lets say 1cm tops) and a rubber dust seal (also 8cm dia. and maybe 1.5cm in height). Plug the numbers into DHL and...GBP74! Grr. 2-4 days too as Kazakhstan isn't a top priority. You can bet it'll be 4 rather than 2.

And, er, that's pretty much my efforts for the day. I came in here hoping for a photocopy of my Kyrgyz visa (for the Kazakhs, apparently) my one useful contribution to the day but they don't have any paper.

I snoozed along to the Russian course noting that the bloody woman changes her pronunciation on a whim and bitches about the two poor saps trying to keep up. Russian (as Russian speakers know) only has three tenses (past, present and future) and cuts down on any fancyness even then. So that sounds good except what Russian does do is drop all sorts of unnecessary words (is, am, a, the, etc.) and then throw in some wierd constructions ("I have" becomes "by me there is" -- noting that that's an Anglicised version, you don't need the "is" for a start). So the problem is that you have an English expression for which you throw away a lot of words, mix the word order up a bit (on a whim so far as I can tell) and if you're unlucky you have to construct some byzantine expression to replace something simple. Russian and English are both Indo-European languages of course so they're very closely related...

I imagine it's not much easier the other way: what are all these little words for? Future imperfect? What the hell is that?

I convinced the guest house to do something other than fried eggs this morning (I was given a lie in, no phone call) and got hard boiled eggs as well as the usual Deutsch-style bread, cheese and meat. And a yoghurt. At least I could sneak a hard boiled egg off for lunch!

I'm going to head over the road to the Metro bar now which the LP promises me sells excellent food having exhausted the regular and more obvious restaurants on the main drag (and the few blocks beyond that I'm prepared to walk to). I will end up going to some of them twice (some nice Italian food to be had) but should probably try to avoid them three times in a week and a bit.

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