Before visiting Kazakhstan I had no idea that it was one of the largest countries in the world. I knew it was in the former Soviet republic but not with which countries it shared borders.
Other than through Borat, it hasn't graced the bookshelves to any extent, so I was interested to read these expat tales of life in the country.
The articles were a bit of a mixed bunch, written by amateur writers who sometimes captured my imagination but other times didn't; it often felt as if I were reading someone's diary.
There were also far too many exclamation marks, which became quite irritating.
So, what has it left me with? Well, certainly a feeling for the extremes of temperature, varying between the summer highs of 40 degrees C to the winter lows of minus 40C.
An awareness of the welcoming kindness of strangers, some of which we experienced while visiting. And an affection for children, who can cross all cultural barriers so easily.
This would be a good introduction to the country for travellers or potential expats but I don't think I'd recommend it as general travel reading.