I've written about various difficulties living here, but I wanted to be fair and point out that at least one thing has proven to be easier in Kazakhstan than in the US: replacing a watch battery!
I do remember a time when replacing a watch battery back home wasn't such a big deal. I remember taking watches into drug stores and superstores and having the whole transaction completed in minutes, for not too much money. At some point, the tide turned. Were there some lawsuits over scratched watches that I just didn't know about at the time? I remember my dismay the first time I tried to have a watch battery replaced in Target, only to be told that unless I purchased my watch there, they wouldn't help me. I have had luck prying the backs off of some watches myself, but even then, I don't often find the correct replacement battery immediately. I have had some success buying watch batteries from Amazon, but that means waiting for them to arrive, and I'm not very patient.
Anyway, when my watch battery died the other day, I thought replacing it might be easier here. I've had watch batteries replaced in Syria and Turkey previously, and the process was quick and inexpensive. I wrote in to a faculty forum to ask where I should go, and someone wrote in and recommended a shop in a local mall. I'm glad I asked--this shop was small and tucked away near a set of restrooms. I doubt I would have found it on my own. Even with my extremely limited Russian, I was able to communicate to the man working there what I needed. About 3 minutes and 2000 tenge (or $11.05) later, I was on my way! I am so happy when a simple errand turns out to be just that.