хоккей!

It’s been a while since my last post. Things have gotten insanely busy between getting my business ready to launch in a couple weeks, EXPO work, and visitors (which, of course, we love). Needless to say, we’ve also managed to squeeze in some fun with lots of interesting and new experiences that I am anxious to share. Where do I start? Okay, I’ll start with our first Kazakh / Russian professional хоккей (khokkey) or hockey game.

On Saturday we saw our local Astana team, Barys, take on Metallurg Mg, ranked #2 and #4, respectively, in the eastern conference of the Kontinental Hockey Leaugue (KHL). Thanks to my father – who just may be the Washington Capitals’ #1 fan – I grew up wearing red and attending live hockey games. So this was rather exciting for me to see how a game goes down over here. Not surprisingly, it’s pretty similar. The differences worth mentioning are the size of the rink (the rink in the KHL is shorter and wider vs. the NHL), the speed of play is a little slower, the slap shots not as hard (where’s Ovechkin?) and there is no instant replay. We’re spoiled in the states. Every time they called a penalty, or there was a great save or goal, we would instinctively look up towards the ceiling over center ice expecting to see an instant replay on the jumbotron. They did have an electronic scoreboard! And interestingly, one of Barys’ lines consisted of two Americans and two Canadians.

All-in-all it was great fun and hockey games will certainly be our go-to in the dead of winter. The crowd was rambunctious and the songs they played during the breaks in the game were the same as back home. We got into it!

Soon I’ll share what fun we had with our visitors from the US, Matt and Ani, among other adventures. And we’re off to Uzbekistan next weekend. This is legit silk road territory. I cannot wait!

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