Graham Calder, 59 years old, hometown — Aberdeen, Scotland, CEO of Business Connexions Kazakhstan Company
I moved to Atyrau at the end of 2000 and have been living here ever since. I moved because I was offered a job at FH Bertling logistics. For the first four years, I worked as a regional manager, but later I started working as the head of the customs and maritime department.
In 2017, I left the project and created my own company, which helps local and foreign companies to develop their business in Kazakhstan.
Initially, I was supposed to stay in Atyrau for only four weeks, but these four weeks lasted for 18 years.
Aberdeen is an old and clean city, with magnificent architecture, stunning scenery, friendly people. And Atyrau is a typical city of the post-soviet time, which is going through a period of rethinking its purpose. This city lacks cultural and landmark places that would have become a bright feature. But since I arrived, the city has changed for the better. People in Atyrau are open and hospitable, as well as in my hometown Aberdeen.
Linda Smart, hometown — Reading, United Kingdom, English teacher
My husband and I have been living in Atyrau for eight years. We arrived for my husband's work but soon decided to stay here. We are not going to move from here in the near future.
We arrived in the summer, and it was hot. Of course, the city was not as developed as it is now, but nevertheless, the first impressions of the city were positive.
Living here has made me relaxed. When I lived in the UK, I was in a constant rush, and there is always the opportunity to stop, rest and move on.
I think people here spend more time with friends than they do in the UK. And in general, in Atyrau, it is much easier to start communicating with someone or make acquaintances.
Caner Onoglu, 45 years old, hometown — Ankara, Turkey, CEO of Altaca Residence
I moved to Atyrau in 1997 and started working as CEO of AltacaResidence construction company. We act as general contractors for various construction projects — from large-scale industrial projects, construction of residential and office complexes to providing detailed finishing works of residences and luxury apartments. In Kazakhstan, our company was engaged in the construction of production facilities to ensure the operation of the Tengiz oil field.
Atyrau became my second home, this is where I met my wife, here my children were born. I made a step to my family happiness by moving to Atyrau.
I grew up in Ankara, a huge city with a large population. Ankara combines the history of our people and modern trends of the world. For a while, I lived in Istanbul, a city that combined Western and Eastern culture. This is manifested in the architecture and the atmosphere. When I was working on one project, I had to temporarily move to Moscow. It is a city of great life, incredible dynamics and great opportunities. But people there are too concerned about their affairs, they have no time to look back and look at life from the outside. That is why I like Atyrau — it is a city of the measured way of life, where the best people live. Every year it develops, becomes more, acquiring its special features.
Noel Chivers, 57 years old, hometown — London, business English teacher
I moved to Atyrau in March 2010 for work. Under the contract, I worked for Tengiz Chevroil for four years in order to conduct English courses for all employees of the company. Then I worked in local companies as a training manager. After working for three years, I created my own company, based in Thailand, together with YKK. We train employees of various companies, teach them business English related to oil and gas. Most of my teachers work online.
I plan to live in Atyrau. One of my friends lives here for 25 years, the other for 16, the third for 10 years — everyone likes it.
As soon as you start to grow roots here and make life a bit more interesting, it's getting better. In many ways, I like it here because of the clubs: boat club, rugby club, parties and barbecue.
Mick Maguire, 48 years old, hometown — Glasgow, Scotland, business development manager at Fircroft Kazakhstan
I work as a business development Manager in an international company, preparing various contracts. I moved to Kazakhstan in 2006, and initially, I was sent to work in Tengiz. I worked there for four months, and then the company transferred me to Atyrau. It was winter and was cold. For me, it was all new, so I remember it well.
Many complain about the local weather, but I like the weather in Atyrau. I like both: cold winter and hot summer.
The difference between Glasgow and Atyrau is significant. Architecture in Glasgow is mainly composed of buildings of the XIX century, built in the style of modern art. The buildings in Atyrau are mostly of the Soviet period, which undoubtedly creates a different atmosphere in the city. However, social life in the city is similar — bars, restaurants, cafés, where people can relax after a hard week.