Pat and I decided to walk down to the markets this morning to finish what we started last week. They really are an amazing experience - so many people and so many stalls spread over numerous buildings and many narrow lanes. You can get everything you need - clothing, shoes, food, hardware, memorabilia, etc. The great thing about them is that everything is negotiable - something may have a price on it but unlike what most of us are used to, you bargain with the shopkeeper. Up until now, Pat and I had been buying all our food at the local supermarket but after today, not anymore.

One thing that we did find today and that I had been looking for were the meat stalls. They were located in a large hall type building with all the vendors dressed in the same clothing, really trying hard to sell you their produce. The place was a vegetarians worst nightmare - all sorts of meat hanging from racks and either cut or ready to be cut. The stalls were grouped into different areas by the type of meat/poultry including pork, beef, goose, chicken and one type of meat that the Kazaks do eat a lot of - horse. I have tried it, but would not eat it again by choice - a bit too lean and tough for my liking. Anyway, I ended up purchasing a couple of kilos of t-bone (beef that is) and wow, it looked good. Because of the language difficulty, the lady only cut it into two pieces instead of the four that we asked for, so we ended up cutting it again once home. I also purchased cheese and some cooked pork roll at other stalls and these looked equally as good as the t-bone.

After leaving the markets, we headed to get something to eat at King Burger which I think is a bit of a rip off of Burger King (similar logo and products but not a franchise). The burgers here are absolutely fantastic - the meat tastes like a real BBQ'd pattie and not some processed crap and the roll is a genuine hamburger bun without all the sugar that you would usually get. The cost is about the same as in Oz, but they are a lot better and a lot bigger here.

After burgering ourselves out, Pat and I headed off on our 45 minute walk back up the hill to our apartment. I am just glad that we finally found where to get some decent meat, because the supermarkets stock very little and if they do have a fair bit the majority is usually equine.

If you don't like body contact then don't bother heading to the markets!

These narrow lanes went for what seemed like miles

The butcher birds who sold me the t-bone - will be going back here

Tender, yummy looking t-bone

A bit too thick to cook, so we split it


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