Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Бишкек, Кыргызстан

A exhibition of aerial photos on display in the Kyrgyz capital

Бишкек, Кыргызстан (aka: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan ) - the capital of this relatively small and mountainous central Asian country. I am here living with a Kyrgyz family and brushing up on my Russian at a language immersion school before continuing my travels through some of the former Soviet central Asian Republics.

Bishkek seems relatively uninteresting on the surface and has the feel of other post-Soviet cities I have visited with concrete block apartment monstrosities, dilapidated sidewalks, numerous kiosks on every corner selling anything from notebooks, cell phones, fresh veggies, booze, cigarettes, fresh bread, to gold watches. But just in my short time here I can sense that there is more to this city than whats readily visible at first glance.

Some of the members of my host family in Bishkek. During the summer, they cook, eat, and socialize outside in their small courtyard.

Changing of guards in front of the State Historical Museum

Traditional ak kalpak's (Kyrgyz white felt hat) are still quite fashionable and can occasionally be seen even in the urban capital.

Girls of Bishkek play on the canons in the park. The rainbow girls outfit is outrageously circa early 80's.

My host brother Tynchtyk (which translates as "Peace" in Kyrgyz) changes the brakes of his families marshutka. A marshutka is sort of a cross between a taxi and a city bus with set routes. This mode of transportation is notoriously known to be one of the most uncomfortable rides as people cram in as tight as sardines in a can. Its an experience that I would avoid whenever possible.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

wow - that same collection of aerial photos is now in Perth! What a grand adventure.