The Baiterek, Inside and Out

The Baiterek, sometimes referred to colloquially as the lollypop or chupa-chup, was conceived as a symbol of Kazakhstan of sorts.  The structure features on every bill, and rather conveniently, it is located just outside my door.  Of course, I had seen this thing all summer, but I hadn’t bothered to go up the elevator to the top, figuring it might be better to wait until the end of the summer, when I would know the city better.  Plus, I anticipated a visit from Becca.  Perfect all around.  So, after work last Friday, we headed out to head up.

View from the elevator, looking towards the Khan Shatyr, that funny tent-like building in the background.

The view from the top was good, though the windows left something to be desired in terms of their general cleanliness. Sigh.

Looking the towards Presidential Palace (center), with a view of the Pyramid and the Palace of Independence behind. And the funny gold buildings that look like teapots.

And there are a few absurd things up at the top. Like, for example, a small decorative piece to praise the country’s religious tolerance.  Keep on trying, Kazakhstan.

Ryan, me, Becca, and PCV--showing our religious tolerance!

But, of course, the pièce de résistance is the cast model of Nazerbayev’s hand for all to check out.  Becca was having a celebrity moment.

In awe? THIS IS SO COOL!

Can you blame her? This is kind of fantastic.

Naturally, I needed to have my own go at it.

I had read, of course, that the thing would blast music–maybe the Kazakh national anthem?–when you placed a hand on Nazerbayev’s.  But either the guy was lying or that has changed. I was slightly let down.  But still, the Baiterek made for a worthy excursion.  Though I was pretty glad to have waited.

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